ABN AMRO Bank No Longer Interested In Developing Its Wallie Bitcoin Wallet Due To Security Risks


ABN AMRO Bank No Longer Interested In Developing Its Wallie Bitcoin Wallet

Leading Dutch financial institution, ABN AMRO has ditched plans of launching its custodial cryptocurrency wallet dubbed Wallie, citing risk concerns, according to reports on May 20, 2019.

ABN AMRO Back Pedals on Bitcoin Ambition

As reported by Bitcoin Exchange Guide earlier in the year, ABN AMRO, a leading Dutch-based lender hinted that it was looking to try out a new bitcoin wallet called Wallis. At the time, the bank was looking to service only 500 customers.

“Earlier this month, ABN AMRO asked 500 clients via email whether they would be interested in a bitcoin wallet. If so, they could follow a link in the email to a mock-up design and answer questions about what features the bitcoin wallet should have, should we decide to design one,” stated a spokesperson of the bank at the time.

Fast forward to May 2019 and the senior press officer at ABN AMRO, Jarco de Swart has told Hard Fork via email that the bank will no longer move on with its bitcoin wallet plans.

“We have approached all the people who have shown interest. We have concluded that cryptocurrencies because of their unregulated nature are at the moment too risky assets for our clients to invest in,” he noted.

Not Your Key, Not Your Coins

Reportedly, the initial mockups of the Wallie project appeared to suggest the bank was looking to launch a bitcoin custodial service whereby it would hold clients’ private keys. However, many observers felt that such a service was against the decentralization ethos of the crypto space.

It’s worth noting that this is not the first blockchain project ABN AMRO has ventured in of late.

In November 2018, ABN AMRO collaborated with several highly reputed firms in the oil and gas industry including Shell, and BP to mention a few, to launch a distributed ledger technology (DLT) based platform called VAKT, for physical oil trades.

With an estimated annual revenue of $10.3 billion and a robust employee base of 18, 720, ABN AMRO would have undoubtedly exposed more people to digital assets and contribute its bit to wider adoption of bitcoin.

Interestingly, despite ditching plans to join the bitcoin movement, ABN AMRO remains determined to occupy the frontline in the blockchain technology industry.

The latest report from Hard Fork has revealed that the bank is partnering with Accenture and ING Bank, to launch a decentralized trade inventory platform called Forcefield.

The bank has made it clear that the DLT-based trade inventory platform will make use of Internet-of-Things (IoT) to provide “real-time insight into trade inventories, thereby reducing costs and promoting security.

More Firms Joining the Crypto Movement

Though ABN AMRO’s reason to steer clear of bitcoin may be a valid one, for now, considering the fact that several top regulators such as the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are yet to implement amenable and robust guidelines to govern the crypto space, it’s worth noting that several other firms have joined the cryptocurrency bandwagon in recent times.

On May 6, Fidelity Digital Assets, the crypto-focused arm of Fidelity Investments, a multi-trillion dollar asset management firm, announced its bitcoin trading service will go live in the coming weeks.

“We currently have a select set of clients we’re supporting on our platform. We will continue to roll out our services over the coming weeks and months based on our clients’ needs, jurisdictions, and other factors. Currently, our service offering is focused on Bitcoin,” said Arlene Roberts, Fidelity spokeswoman at the time.

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