With Barclays investing in the preliminary assessment of a cryptocurrency trading desk, the British multinational investment bank has shown that it hasn’t quite shrugged off the lure of crypto trading.
The bank has been skirting cryptocurrency for some time now. In April 2018, it entered the blockchain arena, with Barclays UK announcing a new ventures unit to study “disruptive technology”.
This was driven by Barclays UK Ventures unit with an aim to “develop new customer propositions around major areas of disruptive technology”. A month later, rumors began to emerge that that Barclays was monitoring client responses to the possibility of opening a trading desk for cryptocurrencies, although the bank suggested it was simply monitoring the space.
Months later, the former head of trading at Barclays was given a new position as Head of Digital Assets Project: Barclays Investment Bank, while the director of oil options trading at the bank, Matthieu Jobbe Duval became Digital Assets Trading – Consultant at Barclays. This prompted investors to expect a statement, which never came.
Blockchain has never been far from Barclay’s development plans and the bank has become an active promoter in the fintech sphere, recently hosting the Blockchain Interoperability Hackathon at the Barclays Rise fintech hub in London.
Clearly this latest assessment by the bank shows that they still have one eye on the space and the needs of its customers; needs which have also been expressed by JPMorgan clients recently. Rumors also abound that Goldman Sachs is considering hiring for a cryptocurrency trading team.
Like its counterparts across the pond, Barclays still appear to be very much in the game.
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