While bitcoin remains the most popular cryptocurrency, several altcoins, or alternative digital currencies, have made their way to the market since bitcoin's introduction.
With the debate over the usefulness of cryptocurrencies still up in the air, Citigroup Inc (NYSE: C) is working to explore every possibility surrounding digital currencies. Citibank's Innovation Labs told IBTimes UK that it has already developed a working cryptocurrency, though it is still being used only in experimental capacities.
Head of Citit's Innovation Labs Ken Moore said that his team has created three separate blockchains and a test currency, dubbed Citicoin, to use them. Citicoin hasn't been used outside the confines of Innovation Labs, but Moore says the research his team has done using the coin experimentally will keep Citibank at the forefront of digital currency innovation.
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The bank has been open about its interest in cryptocurrencies over the past year, so the development was no surprise to the digital currency community. In the future, Citibank is hoping to use blockchain to facilitate international payments in a way that is faster and easier than ever before.
A Step Forward
Citi's enthusiasm for digital currencies represents a major stepping stone for bitcoin and the entire cryptocurrency community. If major banks were to get on board with digital currencies, it would mean that bitcoin and many of the world's other altcoins would have more staying power.
Bitcoin was initially dismissed as a scam, but the fact that major financial institutions are using the currency's blockchain technology to build their own systems suggests that bitcoin may not be just a passing fad.
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