Market Overview

Citi Doesn't See Bitcoin Disrupting Trusted Names Like Visa, Mastercard

Citi Doesn't See Bitcoin Disrupting Trusted Names Like Visa, Mastercard

Digital currency bitcoin has come out of nowhere in the past several years and has reached the point where it served as a safety play for many currency traders during the aftermath of the Brexit vote. The bitcoin blockchain now has a market cap of roughly $10 billion, but how much of a disruptive force will Bitcoin be to traditional banks and card networks like Visa Inc (NYSE: V) and Mastercard Inc (NYSE: MA)?

According to Citi analyst Keith Horowitz, investors in traditional payment systems shouldn’t be worried.

No Worries

While bitcoin is a successful proof of concept for a peer-to-peer payment system, Horowitz said the benefits for a consumer of a decentralized payment system are marginal at best, meaning that consumers see little benefit to using bitcoin over traditional payment methods.

Related Link: Looking For Safe Havens? Buy Gold! Buy Treasuries! Buy...Bitcoin?

“While we do not see potential for disruption from cryptocurrencies, we do view a central-bank issued digital currency as a significant disruptive threat to the banks’ central role in payments…but this seems to be a very long tail risk,” Horowitz added.

He noted anonymity is the only major unique benefit bitcoin currently provides to users.

Horowitz believes bitcoin’s true potential could come from integrating its technology to support the Internet of Things, such as by facilitating machine-to-machine payments.

Disclosure: The author holds no position in the stocks mentioned.

Latest Ratings for V

Jan 2021Credit SuisseMaintainsOutperform
Jan 2021BernsteinReinstatesOutperform
Jan 2021KeyBancDowngradesOverweightSector Weight

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