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Perspective: Why Canadian Banks Must Respond to Virtual Currencies

Perspective: Why Canadian Banks Must Respond to Virtual Currencies

This IDC Financial Insights Perspective looks at a network-based electronic process that records and transfers value using technology that is usually referred to as a blockchain. The technology involves distributed legers, cryptology, and unique algorithms. The result is a very secure core process that functions without central control. A common use of this technology is the support of virtual currencies like bitcoin, which is currently the dominant virtual currency. Virtual currencies and the associate technology are described in detail in this document. The reasons why Canadian banks need to acquire virtual currency expertise now is identified.

Blockchain has taken everything known about the Internet, security, and cryptography to build a payments system designed for the Internet. No party owns and controls the network, and access is available to everyone. This is a powerful concept and one that can be applied to many other situations involving electronic transactions and record keeping. The end result is that blockchain technology will change everything that we know about managing value and not just financial service processes.

Please Note: Extended description available upon request.

In This Perspective
Situation Overview
Why Canadian Banks Need to Act Now
Virtual Currency Challenges
Virtual Currency Overview
Virtual Currency Benefits
Virtual Currency Recognition
Virtual Currency Characteristics
Virtual Currency Drivers and Inhibitors
Potential Financial System Impacts
Government Interest in Virtual Currency
Virtual Currency in Canada
Virtual Currency in the United States
Vendor Opportunities
Final Thoughts
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