The largest bank in Canada by market capitalization, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), is reportedly opening a cryptocurrency exchange. Patents have been discovered that reveal some of the technology the RBC may implement, which could be used to bring digital currency trading to the bank’s 16 million clients.
** This post has been updated on 11/18/19 with recent commentary from an RBC representative.
The Royal Bank of Canada May Launch a Crypto Exchange
A report stemming from the publication The Logic claims that the RBC is currently exploring the construction of a digital currency trading platform. Columnist Zane Schwartz wrote on November 11 that the bank will give customers the ability to invest and trade cryptocurrencies like BTC and ETH. The report reveals RBC is interested in creating funds with a basket of digital currencies as well. “The bank is also looking into letting customers open bank accounts containing cryptocurrency,” Schwartz wrote. If the crypto trading platform comes to fruition then the Canadian bank will be the first financial institution in the country to offer such services.
At the last World Economic Forum in Davos, the Royal Bank of Canada’s CEO, David McKay, told the public that the financial institution aims to leverage distributed ledger technology. “We’re experimenting with taking an asset and breaking it into smaller pieces and registering that in a decentralised register called blockchain. You can take an asset or even a company and create a unit on a decentralised blockchain and then sell that into the marketplace,” McKay said during a panel discussion.
Speaking with Schwartz, RBC spokesperson Jean Francois Thibault explained that the Canadian financial institution “like many other organizations, files patent applications to ensure proprietary ideas and concepts are protected.” Thibault would not confirm to Schwartz whether or not the RBC would be constructing a new trading platform for cryptocurrencies.
— Weiss Crypto Ratings (@WeissCrypto) November 12, 2019
RBC’s Wealth Management Says the Possibilities of Cryptocurrencies Are Undeniable
Four new patents have been found that pertain to a crypto exchange, and RBC has roughly 27 blockchain-based patents in its portfolio. “In some situations, cryptographic asset transactions may take time to be confirmed, and/or may not be compatible or supported by merchant systems or point-of-sale devices,” an RBC trading platform patent states. “To individual users, managing cryptographic keys and transacting with different cryptographic assets can be a challenge,” the patent further emphasizes.
As early as 2015, the RBC expressed interest in blockchain and McKay explained that the technology was a “quantum innovation.” “It is a brand-new technology, and what do we really know about it? How cyber-secure is it? We are going to learn a lot more about it,” McKay told the publication American Banker. “Given what is at stake, it is not something you can rush to market with and fix as you go. You want it to work.”
Alongside this, RBC’s wealth management arm also published a report called “Bitcoin and beyond: Five things to know about cryptocurrency.” The RBC study notes there are plenty of risks associated with decentralized blockchain assets, but in the long run “the possibilities of cryptocurrencies are undeniable.”
According to reports published on November 18, RBC says the blockchain patents do not point to the financial institution launching a cryptocurrency exchange. “While RBC does not comment on ongoing proprietary research and development, we can confirm that these patent filings are not in support of work towards a cryptocurrency exchange for clients,” an RBC spokesperson told Coindesk. “RBC has no near-term plans to launch a cryptocurrency exchange for clients.”
What do you think about the Royal Bank of Canada possibly building a cryptocurrency trading platform for customers? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Image credits: Shutterstock, RBC, Wiki Commons, and Fair Use.
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