BNY's CIO Suresh Kumar is experimenting with bitcoin. The bank will use bitcoin, known internally as BK coins, as incentives to staff for creating certain software services. Eventually they will use it to allow business managers to reward employees for publishing articles or making presentations. The coins can be redeemed for gift cards or other perks.
The objective is to change the mindset around the new technology and to make it tangible in a controlled environment so that BNY can better understand the potential value.
Mr. Kumar says that he is curious how the software can be used to make financial transactions more efficient. Testing bitcoin is also consistent with BNY Mellon’s IT strategy to explore emerging open source technologies, says Mr. Kumar, whose engineers CIO Journal noted Thursday are also using open source code in a new development environment it is building. BNY Mellon senior developer Arun Battu has spent the last several months using blockchain technology to build an application using open source code from Bitcoin.org. Mr. Battu, who modified the code to run on the bank’s internal network, says his biggest challenge is getting used to the bitcoin architecture. BNY Mellon’s computer systems are largely built on client-server architecture, in which a central server delegates tasks to and provides resources for a network of computers.