Information that Barclays, the second largest bank in the United Kingdom in terms of assets, is considering opening a department on the trade in cryptocurrencies, was reflected in the news this Monday.
A source familiar with the situation told CoinDesk on Monday that the bank assesses how much its customers might be interested in such a proposal. Bloomberg owns similar information.
At present, the bank does not have definite plans for trading cryptocurrencies, the source said, adding that the majority, if not all banks are considering such a possibility.
The source added that Barclays is also evaluating the reasons for providing access to trading in cryptocurrencies to all its customers, including institutional investors.
In response to a request from CoinDesk, a spokesman for Barclays said:
“At present Barclays has no plans to create a cryptocurrency trading desk. We constantly follow the trends in the space of digital currencies and will continue to conduct a dialogue with our clients about their needs and intentions in this market in the future.”
Other banks have also previously addressed this issue, the most notable of which is probably Goldman Sachs. Rumors that Goldman could provide its clients with the opportunity to trade cryptocurrencies appeared in December, but a week later the bank’s CEO Lloyd Blankfein dispelled them, although he did not rule out that in the future his company might reconsider its position.
Hedge funds are increasingly interested in trading cryptocurrencies. Thus, they provide a permanent client base for investor banks engaged in cryptocurrency trading.
Earlier it became known that Barclays is creating a venture unit for investing in blockchain technology and smart contracts.