Barclays have been awash with rumours speculating that they are planning on setting up a cryptocurrency trading desk. The rumours soon hit a dead end when a spokesperson from Barclays came out and debunked the rumours, stating that:
“Cryptocurrency is a real challenge for us because, on the one hand, there is the innovative side of it and wanting to stay in the forefront of technological 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.”
This, has been the general consensus since May 2018.
Now, according to new reports, Barclays have taken steps towards establishing a team that will focus its efforts on looking into the technicalities around establishing a cryptocurrency trading desk. This team is so far made up of three senior executives from the bank.
Alongside this, the bank still reiterate that they are not planning on establishing a cryptocurrency trading desk, just yet, but through the establishment of this team, it does seem that they are likely to follow the steps of Goldman Sachs who have established a similar project in the United States. It is expected that the Barclays cryptocurrency trading desk will have its roots within the City of London.
So, what’s actually happened?
Matthieu Jobbe Duval and Chris Tyrer are two of the executives that are alleged to have been appointed this new position within the company. This stems from the fact the pair are alleged to have changed their Linkedin profiles to highlight that some of their working practice now relates to cryptocurrencies. According to Cointelegraph:
“Matthieu Jobbe Duval and Chris Tyrer, whom Barclays confirmed worked for the bank, had listed cryptocurrency-related duties on their LinkedIn profiles. Duval had written he was involved in a “digital asset project” and was hired to produce a business plan for integrating a digital assets trading desk into Barclays’ markets business: revenue opportunity, competitive landscape, budgeting and planning for delivery, I.T. buildout, capital & balance sheet impact.”
“After Business Insider approached Barclays for comment, however, Duval removed the information while nonetheless confirming it was “accurate.” Tyrer, whose LinkedIn had described him as the head of the digital assets project, declined to comment.”
See more for yourself, here.
Will we see a Barclays cryptocurrency trading desk soon?
Possibly not, but with this new team allegedly exploring cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology no doubt, we expect to hear more out of the Barclays camp pretty soon. As 2018 draws the a close, Barclays will want to capitalise on crypto in order to get a few steps ahead of their rivals.
Rivalry is establishing a great deal of competition that is nurturing a healthy race for cryptocurrency adoption. This can only be a good thing.