Swiss banking giant UBS has announced that it will research the technology behind the peer-to-peer network Bitcoin in order to explore how blockchain can be used in mainstream financial services.
The research lab will open this month at Canary Wharf-based fintech accelerator space Level39, which is a hub for fintech startups in London. UBS’s first investment in the blockchain research will bring together technology experts from the bank and the financial technology community, said UBS.
Apart from studying and experimenting with the blockchain technology, the lab members will strive to develop new disruptive technologies that will bring forth more efficient and cost-effective methods for the financial industry, said the bank.
With the UK government open to accepting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, it makes pure sense that the research lab was opened in London. UBS is amongst the first banks to announce their dive into the blockchain technology.
UBS Group Chief Information Officer Oliver Bussmann had in October said that, “blockchain technology will not only change the way we do payments but will change the whole trading and settlement topic. Blockchain technology has the potential to trigger “massive” simplification of banking processes and cost structure.”
When asked about the lab, Bussmann commented: “Fostering an open and collaborative environment between banks, start-ups and the investor community is essential to ensure we focus on promoting synergies between us, accelerate innovation opportunities and create real value for the industry.”
With the Bitcoin ecosystem growing at a surreal pace, banks and financial institutions have taken a plunge in the industry when it is still in the initial stages. They hope to reform the payment processes and other financial transactions and bring forth more innovative blockchain-based solutions to make the processes easier, faster and, extremely cheap.
The Bitcoin industry will definitely get more competitive with an increased number of fintech companies, but maybe that’s the need of the hour.