Royal Bank of Canada mulls ‘offering crypto accounts’

One of Canada’s leading banks is preparing to offer crypto accounts to its customers, The Logic reported.

The Royal Bank of Canada, one of the country’s largest retail banks, is thought to be in the process of developing an account product which would give customers the opportunity to trade in cryptocurrencies directly.

If launched, customers will be able to open cryptocurrency accounts with the bank for storing funds, as well as accessing cryptocurrency exchange through their account facilities.

The move would represent one of the most significant endorsements of cryptocurrency from a major bank in Canada, and comes at a time of increasing institutional support for cryptocurrencies and other digital assets.

Little is known of the details of the account at this stage. However, a recent patent application filed in the U.S. describes how an account could help individual users better manage cryptographic keys, as well as speeding up the process of confirming transactions, according to The Block report.

It stated, “To individual users, managing cryptographic keys and transacting with different cryptographic assets can be a challenge. In some situations, cryptographic asset transactions may take time to be confirmed, and/or may not be compatible or supported by merchant systems or point-of-sale devices.”

RBC spokesperson Jean Francois Thibault dampened speculation, declining to comment further beyond saying the bank filed patent applications to secure “proprietary ideas and concepts” around blockchain: “Like many other organizations, files patent applications to ensure proprietary ideas and concepts are protected.”

While details of the plans remain unconfirmed, the move would be far from the first foray into the world of cryptocurrency from a North American bank.

Despite initial reluctance to embrace cryptocurrency, the Royal Bank of Canada was reportedly experimenting with blockchain payments across the U.S./Canada border since September 2017, and more recently, has begun using blockchain technology for customer identity and verification.

The account comes at a time of growing consumer and merchant interest in cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin SV, which provides faster settlement, lower transaction costs and maximum scaling capacity for retail and enterprise transactions.

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