IBM weighs up money-saving move to bitcoin

Tech multinational IBM is exploring ways to implement the blockchain technology that drives bitcoin in order to build a digital cash and payment currency.

If introduced, the system would allow users to make instant payments and transfers without involving a bank or clearing party, cutting out all transaction costs. By using blockchain, which acts as a publicly visible record of transactions, these payments would be listed in an “open ledger” of a particular country’s currency – for example, the dollar or the euro.

This would eliminate the need for central control or regulation.

“When somebody wants to transact in the system, instead of you trying to acquire a bitcoin, you simply say, here are some U.S. dollars,” an insider told Reuters, who broke the story.

“It’s sort of a bitcoin but without the bitcoin… It’s the same money, just not a dollar bill with a serial number on it, but a token that sits on this blockchain.”

The company is thought to be in talks with the US Federal Reserve over legal issues surrounding the infrastructure and operation of the project.

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