This information purportedly originates from Menno van Leeuwen, so-called ‘Innovation Manager’ at the state-owned bank. According to Leeuwen, he feels that it wouldn’t be wise for the bank to ignore technological development, and says the idea behind experimentation is an effort to be prepared for change, namely in the financial industry.
“Banks are facing challengers from outside, who invent new things,” he was quoted as saying. “If you ignore that, you can be in for undesirable surprises” (rough translation).
What we do know is that ABN Amro’s experimentation with bitcoin is expected to last no longer than three months. Not surprisingly, however, no information has been revealed as to how the bank will test things out with digital currency.
It’s likely we won’t find out, either. Banks are notoriously secretive about what goes on behind the scenes, and usually aren’t willing to disclose on what they’re working on until it’s ready.
A growing attraction to digital currency
ABN Amro isn’t the only bank that’s shown off moderate interest in bitcoin and digital currency.
Just this week we learned that Estonian bank LHV hired a virtual currency expert to help them navigate the waters of this emerging new payment method, and HSBC is looking for an intern with bitcoin know-how.
Those are just two examples, but it’s not inappropriate to suggest there’s a lot more going on that we don’t know about.