Barclays tipped as first bank to accept virtual money Bitcoin

The high street bank has two labs that are dedicated to exploring the potential of the online currency.

And the financial giant is also helping a charity look at how the technology can be used.

At the moment British banks aren’t allowed to accept or deal in Bitcoin as it is unauthorised.

But financial experts think this could change in the future.

Bitcoin gained traction a couple of years ago as an international virtual currency when its value soared to more than $1,000 (£651).

There is a finite amount of Bitcoin that can be mined, which helped increase the currency’s value.

But it suffered a hit when it became closely linked to online trading platform Silk Road, where people often dealt drugs, which was later shut down.

Bitcoin currently trades around the $230 (£150) mark.

A spokesperson for Barclays told Express.co.uk “We’re excited about the potential.. At some point in the future the development of Bitcoin will impact the banking sector.”

Developments in online technology has rapidly changed British banking in recent years.

Millions of people now access accounts online and through phone apps, while more local branches are closed.

Use of contactless payments have also soared, with some people predicting that cash could go out of use within a decade.

However, an increased reliance on technology has seen customers left in a jam when providers suffer technical glitches – an all too often occurrence.

Last week thousands were thought to be affected by a HSBC systems error, which meant that payments weren’t processed and salaries weren’t received when they were expected.

A few weeks prior, RBS and NatWest customers were not able got access online serviceswhen sites where taken down by a hacker attack.

Source: http://www.express.co.uk/finance/city/602263/Barclays-first-bank-accept-virtual-money-Bitcoin

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