BNY Mellon tests blockchain tech with internal bitcoin rewards

Bank of New York Mellon is experimenting with the use of blockchain technology, starting with a cryptocurrency rewards service for its own staff.

CIO Suresh Kumar said he – and the bank – are curious about how bitcoin’s underlying blockchain technology can be used to make financial transactions at BNY Mellon more efficient.

The bank’s senior developer Arun Battu built an application using open source code from to allow the bank to test the use of bitcoins as internal incentives for the company’s new corporate recognition programme. IT managers with virtual accounts with dole out bitcoins – known internally as BK Coins – to staff as a reward for creating certain software services.

Staff will be able to redeem BK Coins for gift cards, vouchers and other perks. Battu hopes to expand the programme to let business managers to reward employees for publishing marketing articles or giving presentations, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Battu noted that his biggest challenge was getting used to bitcoin architecture as he modified the code to run on the bank’s existing internal network. The bank’s computer systems are largely built on client-server architecture, meaning that a central server delegates tasks to and provides resources for a network of computers. This differs greatly to the decentralised cryptocurrency system.

The bank is also exploring open source technologies with a new development environment using open source code.

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