Bitcoin wasn't built for banks. But as cryptocurrency technology evolves, bankers and financial technology startups have begun to consider ways that it could prove useful for financial institutions — from speeding up correspondent banking to facilitating remittances.

A provocative new report aims to clarify the future of the financial industry's relationship with Bitcoin and related technology. The upshot: banks are unlikely to embrace Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Distributed ledger technology, on the other hand, has plenty of commercial potential since it can help banks move financial assets faster and at lower cost without requiring them to take on the risks that accompany "permissionless" ledgers.

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