Top Global Banks and Tech Companies Can No Longer Ignore Bitcoin BUT...

... they are skewing the conversation away from the main quality that makes it revolutionary and disruptive: the fact that it is decentralized and powered by the people. Are they just missing the point or blatantly shrugging off Bitcoin because it threatens to make them obsolete?

The tone and language of these banking and tech giants can be summed up in a few points: first, they acknowledge that the Blockchain is revolutionary or disruptive. Then, they'll reiterate that this is the technology behind Bitcoin, talk about its history and drawbacks or risks. Finally, they'll end by saying that they're working on something better. And by better, they usually mean something they own and control.

Here's a tweet from Goldman Sachs linking to a research they published:


Their Morpheus allusion is quite ironic as they're not really giving consumers the red pill and only garnered ridicule from netizens and Bitcoin proponents.  Anthony Antonopolous, one of the leading experts of cryptocurrency tech and security, replied and said "I'd say you have no clue about bitcoin or the blockchain."

There's also a partnership between IBM, Intel, Cisco, London Stock Exchange Group, JP Morgan and other big names and they're working on creating their own alternative to the Blockchain. The same approach and intent have been expressed by the other big banks and companies on the first image (you may also check references below).

When asked about IBM's partnerships and venture in creating a Blockchain alternative, Jerry Cuomo, their VP and CTO said:

“The current blockchain is a great design pattern. Now, how do we make that real for business? What are the key attributes needed to make that happen? That’s what this organization is about.” 

You see, the Blockchain works independent of central planners. I am guessing "how do we make it real" is corp comm code for "how do we make it owned and controlled."

Yes, businesses of all sizes have the right to experiment with their own products and services alternative to the Blockchain. But are they being disruptive? Hmm, more like being adaptive. This is because most, if not all, of their services could potentially be rendered obsolete by Bitcoin.

I like the way ex-Barclays CEO Anthony Jenkins worded it when he said that the banks will have an Uber moment. Here's the report from Business Insider:

"Jenkins says a series of Uber-style disruptions in the industry could shrink headcount at traditional big banks by as much as 50%, while profitability in some areas could collapse by over 60% — huge predictions from a man who, until recently, ran one of Britain's biggest banks."

What I like about it is how relatable his Uber analogy is. The same benefits people felt in public transportation could be ushered in by Bitcoin start-ups in the financial industry. Much like the struggle of Uber, government attempts in regulation/control is the biggest concern, especially since these giant banks have been labeled by the US government as "too big to fail."

All in all, I am pleased with the massive awareness and intrigue these banking and tech giants are creating for Bitcoin. Also, this makes one part of my life easier. The next time someone asks me what Bitcoin is I can easily say, "oh, it's that thing on the news that those big banks and tech companies are ironically trying to copy." Still working on it but I'm sure you get the point.

If giant banks are too big to fail, Bitcoin is now too disruptive to ignore.


References:

1. Bitcoin's Blockchain Tech May Transform Banking: http://business.inquirer.net/204412/bitcoins-blockchain-tech-may-transform-banking
2. Tech and Banking Giants Ditch Bitcoin for Their Own Blockchain: http://www.wired.com/2015/12/big-tech-joins-big-banks-to-create-alternative-to-bitcoins-blockchain/
3. Goldman Sachs Research’s Emerging Theme Radar report, “What if I Told You… Themes, Dreams and Flying Machines,” http://www.goldmansachs.com/our-thinking/pages/macroeconomic-insights-folder/what-if-i-told-you/report.pdf
4. Ex-Barclays CEO: Banks are about to have an 'Uber moment' — and it's going to be painful http://uk.businessinsider.com/ex-barclays-boss-anthony-jenkins-on-fintech-and-bankings-uber-moment-2015-11

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