International Business Machines Corp. is considering using the technology underlying the bitcoin virtual currency to create a digital cash and payment system for major currencies, Reuters reported, citing an unnamed source.
IBM hopes to allow people to transfer cash or make payments instantaneously using the “blockchain” technology without involving a bank or clearing party, saving on transaction costs.
The transactions would be in an open ledger of a specific currency, such as the US dollar or euro.
The blockchain — a ledger of all of a digital currency’s transactions — is viewed as bitcoin’s main technological innovation, allowing users to make payments anonymously, instantly and without government regulation.
Rather than stored on a separate server and controlled by an individual, company or bank, the ledger is open and accessible to all participants in the bitcoin network.
The proposed digital currency system would work in a similar way.
The Bank of England, in a report in September, described the blockchain’s open ledger as a “significant innovation” that could transform the financial system.
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