Tuesday, October 22, 2013
BITCOIN FOR BANKERS: VIRTUAL CURRENCY OVERVIEW
The hype about Bitcoin and other virtual currencies often misses the real significance to the financial services industry. Cut through the noise about the Winklevoss twins and the whipsawing price of Bitcoins, and youíll find a seriously disruptive technology. As a payment system, as a means of exchange, Bitcoin competes with PayPal, Western Union, MoneyGram, Visa and MasterCard, and to some extent with banks themselves. Itís a frictionless, low-cost way to send money, to transmit value, as well as a way to store value. While it currently captures a tiny sliver of transaction volume, the long-term implications are staggering: A whole banking and payments system has been built from scratch, in this century, without legacy systems, available to anyone with an Internet connection. This session will explain what Bitcoin is, how it works, and the real reasons bankers should pay attention.