We have seen plenty of reports over the past month pointing towards a rise in cryptocurrency activity from Barclays bank. Such activity included carrying out epidemic-modelling on the spread of Bitcoin and rumours of a Barclays based cryptocurrency research branch, with the overall intention of setting up a cryptocurrency trading desk, based within Barclays operations.
These rumours where met with excitement, it did seem that, yet another prolific UK based bank would be moving towards cryptocurrency adoption. According to reports today however, that excitement has been extinguished, for now at least.
According to Financial News London, Jes Staley the CEO of Barclays has said that the bank will not be taking any sudden steps towards establishing a cryptocurrency trading desk.
According to Financial News:
“Barclays chief executive Jes Staley has ruled out the possibility of the bank launching a dedicated cryptocurrency trading desk — for now. In response to a shareholder question at Barclays’ annual general meeting on Tuesday, Staley said the bank was looking into cryptocurrency-related business but wary of regulatory and compliance issues.”
It still seems that the bank is expressing an interest in the blockchain industry, how they will fit into this though, nobody can be too sure. Perhaps when more clear and specific crypto-regulations come out from the FCA and the UK’s Cryptocurrency Taskforce, Barclays will reveal their true stance and intentions.
Rumours are now suggesting that Barclays are working with major clients to settle Bitcoin trading through a different medium, possibly away from the Barclays brand altogether. At the moment though, we are yet to hear any specific confirmation of this. Indeed, if this is the case then it does confirm the idea that Barclays want to reap involvement in crypto, they are just waiting until it is safe to do so.
According to CCN, Staley has said:
“Cryptocurrency is a real challenge for us because, on the one hand, there is the innovative side of it wanting to stay in the forefront of technology’s improvement in finance. On the other side of it, there is the possibility of cryptocurrencies being used for activities that the bank wants to have no part of.”
Either way, we can’t write off a big involvement from Barclays just yet. The bank really does seem eager to spearhead a cryptocurrency revolution within the UK, overall though they understand they have a responsibility to behave within the governments and their shareholders expectations. They do say, don’t bite the hand that feeds, and all that…
Featured Image Original Source: Flickr – Great Photo By Howard Lake