August 24, 2016
Report: Blockchain Payments Will Equal ACH by 2025
March 14, 2016
While the virtual currency Bitcoin has achieved uneven progress since its introduction, the technology upon which it is based—the blockchain—has been identified as a serious disruptive threat to established payment systems. Global consultancy Deloitte’s Center for Financial Services predicted “permissioned blockchain payment systems” will see “significant transaction volume” by 2020 and could equal the size of the ACH network in the U.S. by 2025.
“Digital currencies will evolve and be more accepted in the mainstream, as usage increases and they become interoperable with other currencies,” the report’s authors wrote. “Direct payments will become more common, as the need for intermediaries diminishes. Meanwhile, with increasing digitization, fee margins will decline, but incumbents will remain dominant in the ecosystem. And corporate payments may in fact lead the way in blockchain innovation.”
The travails of Bitcoin have been well chronicled since its introduction in 2009, from its volatility as an investment, to the Mt. Gox and Silk Road scandals to the latest controversy over the best way to increase the size of blocks to accommodate growth. Just today, several outlets have reported that Microsoft, which made a splash in 2014 when it began accepting Bitcoin in the Windows Store, no longer accepts the digital currency. Microsoft has not publicly commented on the matter other than notifying Windows Store users in an FAQ of the change.
Despite these hurdles, however, Deloitte still believes in the mainstream potential of Bitcoin. “But only,” the report said, “with adoption of standards and compliance with global regulatory frameworks. Many of the ‘coins’ that exist today will vanish, for lack of any real demand. We will, however, see the vision of state-sponsored cryptocurrencies becoming a reality in five years.”