Not so long ago, the European Central Bank was rather suspicious about blockchain, the software powering bitcoin. This seems to have changed radically.
The guardian of the euro, the ECB, has plenty on its plate, with debt-ridden member states such as Greece and recently with the German Federal Constitutional Court. Still, the bankers in Frankfurt are finding some time to think about the future as well.
In a paper on the «Eurosystem's vision for the future of Europe's financial market infrastructure», a report about the transaction of payments and securities, the ECB acknowledges the potential usefulness of the blockchain, the first central bank to come to that conclusion.
As a guarantor of real money, the Frankfurt-based monetary authority hitherto wasn't particularly interested in digital money. In March of last year, the ECB called them inherently unstable, according to «Coindesk». Digital currencies such as bitcoin are based on the blockchain technology, which some experts say is as revolutionary as the Internet.
The change of heart makes sense: the bank wants to find out whether the technology has the potential to be used for the transaction of payments and securities as well as for depots.