Westpac CEO: It’s Too Soon to Panic About Bitcoin

Grace Caffyn
Sep 8, 2015 at 16:52 UTC
Updated Sep 9, 2015 at 13:21 UTC

The CEO of Westpac Group, Australia’s second-largest bank, has claimed it is “too soon” to panic about bitcoin and blockchain technology.

At a strategy briefing in Sydney yesterday, Brian Hartzer said the future of the technology – which has a number of “limitations” – is currently uncertain, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

He added:

“I think it is a bit too soon to panic about it. It is potentially quite powerful from an efficiency point of view. It is one of the things we are keeping an eye on.”

In June, the bank went public with details of its current proof-of-concept with Ripple Labs, which will see it test out low-value transfers overseas. Reinventure Group, a VC fund backed by Westpac also took part in Coinbase’s $75m Series C in January.

In his speech, Hartzer – who took the role in February – pointed to a 20% increase in spending on technology and efficiency at the bank in the coming years, bringing its total spend to around $1.3bn.

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