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French banks planning bitcoin projects

French bank BNP Paribas is considering incorporating bitcoin into its currency funds, according to International Business Times.

Beta testing is already underway, with a view to using the cryptocurrency in the near future.

Read more: Barclays experimenting with Bitcoin blockchain in everyday banking

A spokesperson for France’s largest bank stressed that although implementing the new technology promises some exciting benefits, it is not ready to be unveiled just yet.

"We are looking at blockchain technology and how it can be applied to post trade processes to make things faster and potentially cheaper but it's all very much projects and it's all in testing. It's nothing live."

Blockchain is the one of the key features associated with bitcoin. It is essentially a record of all bitcoin transactions that have taken place and is constantly being added to as mining takes place. The blockchain is made up of blocks, which function as individual bank statements and are placed chronologically in the chain.

It seems that BNP is not the only bank hoping to use cryptocurrency to its advantage. One of its main competitors Société Générale is reportedly looking to employ an IT developer with knowledge of bitcoin and blockchains on a 12-month contract.

Global banking institutions have been reticent to adopt bitcoin, citing a lack of regulation and fears of rapid fluctuations in value. However, a number of legitimate businesses all over the world are beginning to accept bitcoin payments.

Read more: New payment processing technology makes bitcoin payments less risky

Coinbase, a bitcoin wallet and exchange company, has already secured more than $106 million in venture capital funding. With huge businesses like this centring on bitcoin, it’s unlikely that banks will maintain their scepticism for long.