by Joseph Young
BNP Paribas Fortis, an international bank based in Belgium and a subsidiary of BNP Paribas has denied its involvement with a bitcoin vault project which supposedly allows customers of the bank to store bitcoin in a safe storage with other financial assets.
The spokesperson of BNP Paribas Fortis told Coindesk, “I will disappoint you because we do not have a project regarding the bitcoins. So, it’s not true.”
The rumors of the bitcoin vault project surfaced when individuals from the bitcoin community received emails from a “marketing analyst” at BNP Paribas Fortis who offered a bitcoin vault solution and asked them to subscribe to a Launchrock website. LaunchRock is a platform which allows entrepreneurs to create “soon-to-launch” campaigns to attract early users.
The website’s tagline — “Had bitcoins at Mt. Gox when things went down? Store your Bitcoins at your bank like any other financial asset” — confused the bitcoin community, as some believed that the “bank” in the context of the website’s tagline was referring to BNP Paribas Fortis.
A spokesperson for the bank explained to Coindesk that these type of case studies are common and are part of a training course of Lean Startup. “As part of this training, a hypothesis was tested by posting a web page (not branded) on bitcoiners [sic] forums to analyse the possible interest of these in being able to store bitcoins safe in a bank,” said the spokesperson.
BNP Paribas Bitcoin Projects
A part of the confusion derived from the bank’s increasing interest in cryptocurrency and the blockchain technology.
BNP Paribas, France’s largest bank and the parent company of BNP Paribas Foris has been actively looking at ways to incorporate bitcoin into one of its currency funds. A spokesperson of BNP Paribas told IB Times UK that the bank has been experimenting with cryptocurrencies, running bet tests to include a digital currency like bitcoin into one of the bank’s currency funds in Paris.
“We are looking at blockchain technology and how it can be applied to post trade processes to make things faster and potentially cheaper but it’s all very much projects and it’s all in testing. It’s nothing live,” said the Spokesperson.
“Bitcoin Could Destroy Existing Financial Firms”
Johann Palychata, an analyst at BNP Paribas’ magazine Quintessence, stated that blockchain technology “should be considered as an invention like the steam or combustion engine,” which has the capability to destroy existing traditional financial firms and banks.
Palychata went on to suggest that “existing industry players might be redundant” once blockchain technology is adopted and integrated on security-trading platforms.