Digital Currency Could Be A “MegaTrend” That Will Shape the Future of Finance

Digital Currency

The digital currency press has been buzzing about a recently issued Goldman Sachs report highlighting the emergence of digital currency businesses as a force to be reckoned with going forward.  And the buzz is justified.  This report is an important sign that digital currency is having a major impact on the banking industry, and is moving mainstream.

The report, published on March 10, 2015, titled The Future of Finance: Redefining The Way We Pay in the Next Decade, discusses digital currencies, calling them part of a technology “megatrend” which could alter the fundamental mechanics of transactions.  The report names three companies as leaders in the digital currency space.

BitPay

BitPay is a global bitcoin payment processing firm that allows merchants to accept bitcoin in exchange for goods or services. The company has over 12,000 merchants world-wide and recently partnered with Adyen to make bitcoin acceptance possible for some of the world’s largest companies currently using Adyen’s platform, including Facebook, Airbnb, Spotify and Groupon.

Coinbase

Founded in June of 2012, Coinbase is a bitcoin wallet and platform where merchants and consumers can transact with the digital currency bitcoin. The company is based in San Francisco, California.  It has 2,000,000 users and has raised a total of $106 million from investors world-wide.

Ripple Labs

The report also refers to one company that is not bitcoin based, Ripple Labs, a San Francisco-based company.  Ripple Labs develops software that interacts with a digital currency protocol referred to as the Ripple protocol.  The Ripple protocol, a decentralized ledger payment standard, may be used to transfer currency and, in particular, a digital currency native to the Ripple protocol, XRP.  Ripple Labs, focusing a lot of its efforts on enterprise banking, has over the last six months partnered with banks such as Fidor (Germany), CBW Bank (Kansas) and Cross River Bank (New Jersey) to assist these banks in using the Ripple protocol to perform international money transfers without depending on large banking partners.

The March 10 report follows another report published just a few days before, titled The Future of Finance: The Rise of the New Shadow Bank, in which Goldman Sachs analysts discuss regulatory changes and the development of new business models in the banking industry.

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