Earlier this month, there had been some speculation that ABN AMRO would be launching their own Cryptocurrency wallet. However, the rumors have since been clarified by the Dutch Bank as false.
It all started last week when the bank Implied on Twitter that they would be trying out a new Cryptocurrency wallet called ‘Wallis’ with a select 500 customers. The wallet would have supported only bitcoin and was to be the latest addition to the ABN AMRO portal.
The Real Situation
ABN AMRO has since addressed the situation. They had apparently sent out emails for some select customers to simply gauge their response and interest to the possible project. The email was accompanied with a link to a mock-up of the non-existent wallet.
The image was then shared on Twitter by overexcited customers and the public then believed that there was a wallet in the works.
“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 answers questions about what features the bitcoin wallet should have, should we decide to design one,” an ABN AMRO spokesperson said. “So this is one of our ways to engage with clients and find out what kind of services they want.”
Even though the wallet doesn’t actually exist, there was great excitement from customers at the prospect.
A spokesperson for the Bank has reiterated that “there is no actual bitcoin wallet to be tested, not even a beta version.”
Banks and Bitcoins
Despite the warm reception that ABN AMRO received for a fictional crypto wallet, there are many in the crypto industry that are opposed to banks entering the digital asset markets
For many, the entire foundation of cryptocurrency is to create a financial system that is independent of banks and was created to disrupt the monopoly held by them. Therefore, banks getting into the digital assets markets and controlling the flow of bitcoins defeats the purpose.
On the other hand, one of the reasons that the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry has been able to make the amount of progress it has is because it has enjoyed some level of institutional support from the financial industry. In this case, seeking to exclude banks from cryptocurrency holding might not only be divisive but counterproductive as well.