[Editor's note: HSBC reversed course and said the blog didn’t come from the bank’s global head of marketing strategy.]
We can thank Reddit user “vakka2” for stumbling onto the fact that HSBC, one of the largest banks on earth, is apparently considering the benefits of Bitcoin in what may be interpreted as an attempt to keep up with the times. However, the bank is still very early in the research stage.
Like most large organizations, HSBC often uses employment testing services to gauge the ability of potential candidates. According to the aforementioned user, HSBC is shopping for marketing interns who are knowledgeable of Bitcoin
. For example, the test question prepared for the marketing intern position reads as follows:
“Create a position paper on the benefits of Bitcoin being adopted and being a part of HSBC consumer products. Pick a position in favour or against and please add your sources.”
The full text of the question can be found on Gap Jumpers
The nature of the question is interesting in itself as many have postulated that cryptocurrencies present a huge threat to the current level of power held by the world’s banks. But while the future of Bitcoin is not crystal clear, one thing is absolutely certain: If Bitcoin does become fully accepted, the first bank to get on board will net the bulk of new customers.
The Bitcoin revolution has already begun to sweep Africa
because it eliminates the need for a central bank, cuts transaction fees to near zero and can provide financial services to the unbanked population, which numbers in the millions. There are many regions on the African continent that might require days of hard travel to access a bank or even ATM and with Bitcoin the only thing needed to trade is a wallet in a storage device for local, person-to-person transactions and an internet connection for distant transactions.
Africans traveling and working abroad for instance send home billions of dollars and are forced to sometimes pay as much as 12% for the transfer, instead of a fraction of a penny with Bitcoin transfers. Experts expect
continued growth of the Bitcoin economy on the African continent, especially in sub-Saharan countries, where remittances comprise a large portion of the countries’ GDP.
Not all banks are particularly friendly about Bitcoin and some seek to actively destroy it. Citi-Group for instance
issued a statement that because of deflation and security concerns the only thing that Bitcoin had was its blockchain technology and suggested that the cryptocurrency be trashed and the technology turned over to the banks. But now, with news about HSBC and the fact that Estonian Bank LHV has also hired a Bitcoin expert means that at least some financial institutions are realizing that Bitcoin is here to stay and are preparing to ride the wave.