Bitcoin exchange itBit yesterday held its “Bankchain Discovery Summit”, an invite-only event for Wall Street executives from major banks, brokerages and exchanges.
An invitation, obtained by CoinDesk, reads:
“Join us for the inaugural itBit Bankchain Discovery Summit. Interact with industry peers, hear from our panel of experts and address topical blockchain use cases that will shape the future of the financial services industry.”
The event was reportedly held in New York at one of the locations of Convene, an upscale provider of private meeting spaces. Prices range from $99 to $229 per person per day, plus a 23% administrative fee.
Not much else is known about the event, which was closed to media.
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Likewise, the website featuring Bankchain just says, “The first consensus-based ledger system exclusively for financial institutions…Coming soon.” itBit has indicated that it will reveal more details in the near future.
Numerous banks and other financial services firms have revealed plans of their exploration into blockchain technology this year. Most have been playing with it in-house, using their existing IT infrastructure and research teams.
On the surface, itBit may be leveraging its experience in the crypto industry to become a white-label software provider of sorts to the banks. The banks, in turn, would no longer have to deal with conquering the blockchain learning curve or searching for blockchain talent, which is in tight supply.
Bank involvement in the technology may thus graduate from prospective interest by roughly a dozen institutions into widespread adoption, and perhaps one day, the new norm.
Another mysterious aspect is itBit’s apparent venturing into the blockchain technology space after investing much time and resources into developing its institutional-grade exchange. Two months ago, it became the first Bitcoin business to receive a banking charter. Its current business focuses on trading bitcoin as a currency, which would seem not to emphasize the under-the-hood mechanisms of Bitcoin’s distributed ledger.
But the banking license and the hiring of figures experienced with regulation may indeed come in handier for plans to work with the fiat banking system, which may be where the real money is.