What’s Going On?
UK banking giant Barclays is reported to be sounding out clients about their interest in a potential crypto trading desk, according to company insiders.
Why Does It Matter?
Very few truly global financial brands have come clean about official interest in crypocurrencies. Reports surfaced at the end of 2017 that Goldman Sachs would open a crypto trading desk, said TheStreet, but outgoing CEO Lloyd Blankfein later refuted the claim.
Barclays spokesman Andrew Smith told Bloomberg: “We constantly monitor developments in the digital currency space and will continue to have a dialogue with our clients on their needs and intentions in this market.”
How Is This Different?
CoinDesk reported the bank does not yet have concrete plans to begin trading cryptocurrencies, but the Barclays insider said their behind-the- scenes research is likely to be matched by the majority of major banks who are also considering options for crypto trading.
The source added the bank is considering whether to extend the offering to its entire suite of clients, including institutions and hedge funds, who are increasingly interested in trading cryptocurrencies. Hedge funds that deal with cryptocurrencies have been eager to find banks to handle transactions, reported Bloomberg. Some investors have found regulations have hampered efforts to expand into crypto.