Cryptocurrencies will soon be used to store digital value, the Bank of Ireland is to announce.
The Bank has asked the private sector to work on the blockchain technology underpinning cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, and is seeking proposals for the technology to be integrated into the banking system.
It is not yet clear when the Bank would begin using the technology in banking.
Bitcoin is the most widely used digital currency, with an estimated market capitalisation of more than $7.5tn.
It has been gaining in popularity in recent years, and has become a hot commodity in financial markets.
However, there is still concern that it may become vulnerable to cyber attacks.
Last month, the Bitcoin Foundation said it is working on a proposal for the digital currency to be considered in the banking industry, and that the Bank’s research would be open to public comment.
The Blockchain is a technology which allows users to store, transfer and retrieve digital data, and uses cryptography to verify the content.
It also enables digital currencies to act as a digital record of transactions, which could potentially help the financial system.
Bitcoin has gained in popularity over the past year, after its value soared to $1,000 per coin.
The value of Bitcoins has risen from $1 in January, but has been hit by an ongoing surge in speculation.
The currency is now trading at around $1.50, with the average price in the past 24 hours rising from $100 to $3,500.