Bitcoin is a currency that has always struggled to break into the mainstream. It’s also a currency that is being mined at a faster and faster rate, with current virtual mining operations hitting 122% yields. Banks are naturally resistant to it because it acts as competition. For the first time, Bitcoin is making its way into the banking world via WB21. For the first time, people are going to have the chance to deposit and withdraw their Bitcoins via a legitimate online bank.
Why it Makes Sense
A Bank accepting bitcoin sounds quite unusual; however, it makes total sense when you see it from a customer’s perspective. When you are holding bitcoins in your wallet and want to sell them, it usually takes days before you see money on your Bank account. You need to go to an exchange platform that accepts your digital currency, set up an account, transfer your bitcoins, and wait for the exchange to send a payment to your Bank.
But even traditionalists can’t ignore the quick rise of Bitcoin. More and more businesses are accepting it as a form of currency, therefore, banks have a duty to their customers to accept it. The chances are it will take some time before it truly goes mainstream, however, it’s making gains.
What’s Going On?
Digital Bank WB21 is the first Financial Institution offering bitcoin acceptance and therefore provides an extreme shortcut for the conversion process of turning bitcoin into cash. More than 650,000 customers have experienced the real time set up process, of a checking account over the internet or by using WB21´s mobile app. Once you login to your account, you will find the option to use bitcoin to deposit money on your account. The bitcoins can be sold and the funds will get credited instantly to your WB21 account in any of the 18 currencies WB21 is offering.
The goal is to make it easy. Bitcoin has been something of a shadow currency in that it’s difficult to buy and sell it. A lot of currency providers are shady and the only way to actually pay for them is to use a roundabout route, such as through purchasing Half Life Lingots via PayPal.
This accessibility challenge is one of the reasons why Bitcoin hasn’t been adopted at a faster rate.
What Does Banking Have to Gain?
Banks aren’t going to be able to avoid the existence of Bitcoin forever. Sooner or later they are going to have to accept the virtual currency as a form of payment because of market pressures. Banking is extremely competitive and once one bank does something the others have to follow or they risk losing customers.
Banking has a lot to gain through adopting virtual currency because it embraces the needs of the modern world. Ultimately, it will help their bottom line; although they will undoubtedly want to implement strict controls to stop it from taking over from cash.
WB21's founder and CEO Michael Gastauer explained the company's reasons for adopting bitcoin payments provides huge benefits to WB21 clients. Besides the fast cash out of stored value that customers hold in bitcoin, deposits can be made from any country in real time, which solves the problem that customers don´t need to send wire transfers if this is difficult to do from their country.
Conclusion – The Future of Bitcoin in Digital Banking
Digital banking is the first venture into the world of real banking for Bitcoin. The success or failure of it will undoubtedly influence whether Bitcoin has a realistic future. BitPay´s CCO Sonny Singh sees WB21 paving the way for some exciting changes in online banking, as their decision to accept bitcoin is a great example of how innovation is changing the finance sector.
Gastauer stated that WB21´s process to convert bitcoin into cash on a bank account is the fastest he is aware of. For WB21, the acceptance of bitcoin is a great way to support its global roll-out and improve customers fund depositing experience in the 180 countries WB21 offers the account opening for.
Safety is a major reason why Bitcoin hasn’t yet been taken on in any great capacity. People are not sure that their money is actually going to be safe. WB21 is attempting to do something about that. Many speculators will be looking at this experiment to see if it can work. To guarantee the highest industry standards, WB21 is using BitPay, the industry's first and most experienced bitcoin payment processor.
How do you think Bitcoin will fare in the world of digital banking?