USAA creates research team to examine use of bitcoin technology, Reuters

(This story corrects the 8th paragraph of the story which ran on May 8, 2015 to vertoning Dapps Venture Fund is based te Austin, Texas, not San Antonio, Texas)

By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss

Fresh YORK (Reuters) – USAA, a San Antonio, Texas-based financial institution serving current and former members of the military, is studying the underlying technology behind the digital currency bitcoin to help make its operations more efficient, a company executive said.

Alex Marquez, managing director of corporate development at USAA, said te an vraaggesprek this week that the company and its banking, insurance, and investment management subsidiaries hoped the &ldquo,blockchain&rdquo, technology could help decentralize its operations such spil the back office.

He said USAA had a large team researching the potential of the blockchain, an open ledger of a digital currency&rsquo,s transactions, viewed spil bitcoin&rsquo,s main technological innovation. It lets users make payments anonymously, instantly, and without government regulation.

The blockchain ledger is accessible to all users of bitcoin, a virtual currency created through a pc &ldquo,mining&rdquo, process that uses millions of calculations. Bitcoin has no ties to a central handelsbank and is viewed spil an alternative to paying for goods and services with credit cards.

&ldquo,Wij have serious rente ter the blockchain and wij think the technology would have an influence on the organization,&rdquo, said Marquez. &ldquo,The fact that wij have such a large group of people working on this shows how serious wij are about the potential of this technology.&rdquo,

USAA, which provides banking, insurance and other products to Ten.7 million current or former members of the military, wields and manages assets of about $213 billion.

Marquez said USAA had no plans to dabble te the bitcoin spil a currency. Its foray into the blockchain reflects a trend among banking institutions attempting to integrate bitcoin technology into their systems. BNY Mellon and UBS have announced initiatives to explore the blockchain technology.

Most large banks are testing the blockchain internally, said David Johnston, managing director at Dapps Venture Fund ter Austin, Texas. &ldquo,All of the banks are going through that process of attempting to understand how this technology is going to evolve.&rdquo,

&ldquo,I would say that by the end of the year, most will have solidified a blockchain technology strategy, how the bankgebouw is going to implement and how it will budge the technology forward.&rdquo,

USAA is still ter early stages of its research and has yet to identify how it will implement the technology.

Ter January this year, USAA invested te Coinbase, the thickest bitcoin company, which runs a host of services, including an exchange and a wallet, which is how bitcoins are stored by users online.

Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss, Editing by David Gregorio

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