With American Express now applying for a patent to implement blockchain technology into their customer rewards systems, all of the world’s four largest credit card issuers are now showing confidence in distributed ledgers and the time for cryptocurrencies to come to the fore is nigh…
Earlier today, coindesk revealed that “American Express may be weighing the use of blockchain within a personalized customer rewards system.” AMEX is the world’s largest issuer of credit cards in terms of transactions, averaging 6 billion transactions per year.
Indeed, 58 million people are AMEX cardholders and this is just the latest in a stream of major banks to have adopted Blockchain technology in some form or another to improve speed and security in their transactions and streamline their services.
MasterCard also announced on Friday in a press release that it would first be working on business-to-business (B2B) transactions with Blockchain technology. They process transactions in over 210 countries and in more than 150 currencies, with approximately 191 million cardholders around the world.
Then, last Monday, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co announced that they would be launching a payments network using Blockchain. Chase currently has 93 million cardholders.
Visa, the world’s largest issuer of credit cards, with 323 million cardholders, were way ahead of the pack, making a patent application in mid-August to use “digital signatures to create trusted digital asset services”.
Now, we all know that Bitcoin, Blockchain, cryptocurrencies and distributed ledgers are the buzzwords in the media today and, between the four of these companies, there are 665 million cardholders – that’s just short of 9% of the world’s total population.
One-tenth seems like a pretty tiny figure, but consider that there are billions of people that don’t even have bank accounts. Just try to imagine the magnitude of transactions that will be conducted in some way or another through the Blockchain – that’s not billions per year, that’s trillions! Then, consider that, through its very nature, cryptocurrencies will give the billions of people without bank accounts the opportunity to fully participate in paperless financial transactions and you have cryptocurrencies slowly starting to creep up on their traditional counterparts.
It’s crazy to think that we are getting closer and closer to a point where Dollars, Euros and Pounds will be a thing of the past… we will all be buying and selling goods and services in digital currencies. And money, as we know it, is going to change…