BNP Paribas Fortis has denied it is exploring the idea of entering the bitcoin space as a digital vault provider.
A spokesperson for the international Belgium-based bank – a subsidiary of BNP Paribas – told CoinDesk the company was not planning to allow its customers to store bitcoin as they would any other asset.
The spokesperson added:
“I will disappoint you because we do not have a project regarding the bitcoins. So, it’s not true.”
BNP Paribas Fortis’ denial comes after CoinDesk was contacted by a subscriber to the Bitcoin Brussels mailing list, who claimed to have received an email from a marketing analyst at the bank detailing plans to offer a digital vault solution.
According to the subscriber, the message asked readers to register their interest on a Launchrock website – a platform that enables its users to create viral ‘Launching Soon’ pages with in-built sharing tools and analytics – by providing their email address.
The spokesperson for BNP Paribas Fortis attributed the “confusion” around the bank’s intentions to a training excercise:
“As part of training on the Lean Startup, the theme of bitcoin is often chosen as a case study. As part of this training, a hypothesis was tested by posting a web page (not branded) on bitcoiners [sic] forums to analyse the possible interest of these in being able to store bitcoins safe in a bank.”
Watching the blockchain
Despite unwilling to disclose specifics, the spokesperson said the bank was watching blockchain technology to assess how it could be used to speed up business processes and make them less costly.
“But these are only projects and formations,” they added.
The comments come after a report in July suggested BNP Paribas was looking to incorporate bitcoin to one of their currency funds.
CoinDesk reached out to BNP Paribas at the time but was unable to verify the news.