Dutch Bank That Once Called Bitcoin 'High Risk' Considers Building Crypto-Wallet
A Dutch multinational financial provider, Rabobank has announced the possible introduction of a ‘cryptocurrency wallet’ tethered to the company’s banking services. The news follows the bank’s recent ‘high risk’ profiling of account holders that participated in bitcoin trading.
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Rabobank Investigates the Idea of Introducing a Cryptocurrency Wallet to Its Online Banking Environment
This week the Dutch institution, Rabobank, the second-largest bank in the Netherlands in terms of total assets revealed it may introduce a cryptocurrency wallet called “Rabobit.” The wallet idea is one of 22 concepts introduced in Rabobank’s internal Moonshot acceleration program. At the moment the idea is to host a cryptocurrency wallet that’s tethered to the company’s online banking environment. Rabobank says right now company employees are researching the benefits and risks tied to implementing a digital currency wallet.
“The idea of Rabobit is a cryptocurrency wallet within the online banking environment,” explains the Dutch bank.
The employees who are currently investigating this initiative approach clients for this, both in person (street research) and via the website.
A Messy Banking Past
Rabobank also has a history of paying fines for unethical banking practices. In 2013 the bank paid a $1 billion fine for “unscrupulous trading practices” that were associated with the LIBOR scandal. The bank’s California unit just got into trouble this year when regulators investigated alleged money laundering associated with Mexican drug sales and organized crime. Rabobank agreed to pay $369 million to settle the money laundering allegations.
The Dutch institution’s webpage says if the wallet is launched it will be hosted by a trusted party and within the secure online banking environment. Further, customers can get insight to an investor’s overall liquidity by utilizing both banking and cryptocurrency accounts all in one place.
Rabobank Recently Declared Customers Who Trade Bitcoins ‘High Risk’
Even though Rabobank has launched the cryptocurrency wallet website the company says the idea hasn’t been fully established yet and the company is researching to see if demand exists.
“Rabobit has not yet been realised, there is still no official decision to introduce this. As soon as more info follows, we will communicate this,” a Rabobank representative on Twitter explains yesterday.
Just recently Rabobank warned that customers who trade bitcoins using their accounts were dealing with certain risks. Further, account holders who trade cryptocurrencies would be classified as “high risk” customers.
“Bitcoins are considered to be risky products. Customers who trade in high-risk products can have a higher risk profile. It is conceivable that companies that deal with cryptocurrencies are seen as too risky and can therefore not be accepted as a customer,” Rabobank stated on February 2.
Ownership and value transfer are completely anonymous and evade supervision by third parties, such as a government. Which means that cryptocurrency does not meet the highest standards of compliance set by Rabobank.
Even though the bank representatives state there is no official decision to introduce the wallet just yet, it seems the company is changing its mind about cryptocurrencies, and may be friendlier toward the technology in the near future.
What do you think about Rabobank back peddling on recent statements about bitcoin risks and then announcing the possibility of creating a cryptocurrency wallet? Let us know in the comments below.
Images via Rabobank building, logo, and the Rabobit website.
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