As Bitcoin becomes larger and larger, it’s hard not to see the advantages in either investing or using the virtual currency. Well, banks have taken notice and want a piece of the pie. In effort to do so, they have been looking into their own legal alternatives into the market.
Bitcoin—in case you haven’t hear of it—is a new form of currency supposedly able to operate around the bounds of tangible currency such as the American dollar. It is a type of virtual currency that can be accessed anywhere, at any time and be sent anywhere you would like. It offers the convenience of not having to deal with foreign fees or exchange rates.
(See also: Bitcoin Value Cut In Half Over Night)
Seeing that it is such a coveted, highly profitable, and very useful form of currency, banks are doing their best to figure out a way to offer a product superior to Bitcoin. Being that it is in such high demand, the banks don’t have the option to ignore the lucrative market.
For example, JPMorgan Chase has recently submitted a patent application, “for a computerized payment and financial transfer system it claims could compete at lower cost with credit and debit cards.” JPMorgan even stepped up the accountability by adding a legal clause into their system taking accountability for any and all money in a person’s account. This is a plus seeing that, in its current state, should the Bitcoin market or system crash, no one is liable for your money except for yourself.
But they’re not the only ones that are taking advantage of the market as everyone tries to thicken their wallets while the idea is still young. Companies like Ripple Labs are popping up all over that offer, “fast, cheap international transfers without any specialized virtual currency.” It offers to take out “middle man” currencies such as Bitcoin offering payments to be sent, “to anyone anywhere in the world in seconds, in any currency.”
It is nice that the open-source currency is allowing for the competition to offer superior services for cheaper costs. Although I suppose, not for Bitcoin.