Threat of Cryptocurrencies Will Lead to Introduction of State-backed Digital Currencies, Citigroup CEO

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Citigroup chief executive officer (CEO), Michael Corbat, has projected that the threat posed by Bitcoin and other digital currencies in the existing global financial system will give rise to state-supported virtual currencies. He argued that governments around the world will not take the disruption caused by the cryptocurrencies in the system sitting down.

In an interview with Bloomberg at a summit held in New York in early November 2017, Corbat claimed that Bitcoin and other virtual currencies threaten the current financial system’s capabilities around data, tax collection, money laundering and know-your-customer (KYC) protocol.

He added that various governments will introduce their own digital currencies to counter Bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies.

"It's likely that we’re going to see governments introduce, not cryptocurrencies – I think cryptocurrency is a bad moniker for that – but a digital currency."

Corbat also cited the potential of Blockchain technology, the underlying technology behind Bitcoin and other digital currencies. He claimed that the technology has great promise and should not be taken lightly.

Citigroup’s own digital currency and Blockchain technology initiatives

According to Corbat, their company is already developing its own digital currency called “Citicoin.” The virtual currency is intended to reduce or eliminate issues in cross-border foreign exchange transactions. The major financial company is also collaborating with stock exchange Nasdaq on the possible applications of Blockchain for the trading of private shares. The partnership involves Citigroup’s CitiConnect and Nasdaq’s Linq platforms.

Other comments on the digital currencies

Several personalities in the financial services industry have also issued their comments on Bitcoin and other virtual currencies in the past.

In his opinion on the cryptocurrencies, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein has claimed that he is uncomfortable with Bitcoin, but he is willing to give the virtual currency a try.

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