The Netherlands state-owned bank, ABN Amro, is the eighth largest bank in Europe and the 15th largest bank on Earth. Last month, the head of the bank’s Innovation Centre, Arjan van Os, posted a long and rousing blog post with one of the most bullish statements on the subject of the blockchain seen from any bank to date.
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“Blockchain technology could make our current business model obsolete.” – Arjan van Os
This post was made on the bank’s official, customer-facing newsroom, intended for clients and employees. Throughout the post, van Os touts Bitcoin’s many benefits and calls for immediate action to learn as much about, and to integrate, the blockchain into their business as quickly as possible. Van Os admitted that “The Blockchain, however, won’t be an incremental change. It will be a complete paradigm shift.”
In what many bitcoiners find a unique point of view for a bank employee, van Os seems to have summoned up his full imagination to describe the possibilities that Bitcoin’s blockchain offers.
“Imagine a time when the job you perform can be entirely replaced by technology. Picture a day when the trust that financial institutions worked decades to build, can be duplicated electronically in seconds. Think about a system, invented by anonymous strangers, which creates more security, speed and transparency than the financial world has ever seen. Science fiction? Hardly. That time is here. That day is today. That system is Blockchain. Fasten your seatbelts. What the Internet has done for information and the way we communicate, the Blockchain will do for value and the way we look at trust. The financial world is going to flip upside-down.” -van Os
At the end of the post is a video made from a recent in-house presentation at the Innovation Centre for its ‘Startup Friday’ event. At this event the Centre introduced the promise of the blockchain, and then had several Bitcoin and blockchain startups present their services and blockchain-based solutions.
A few in-house presenters collectively made a bullish case for blockchain tech to be integrated into ABN Amro. Although more than half of the talks were in Dutch, it appeared that everyone present was impressed and inspired by the blockchain.
The second half of the meeting consisted of representatives from five different Bitcoin companies, who were on hand in Amsterdam to give introductory presentations and answer questions about their businesses. Bitpay, Blocktrail, Sendchat, (now part of blocktrail) Florin, and Five Degrees all spoke to rousing applause, and even received nice bouquets of flowers at the end for their effort.
Which banks do you think will become interested in Bitcoin next? Let us know in the comments below!
The Bitcoin Bank Acceptance Spotlight is a regular column on Bitcoin.com created to keep track of which banks are saying great things about bitcoin and the blockchain.
Images courtesy of ABN AMRO.