In a sudden announcement, it appears that UK-based Barclays Bank will explore the idea of the trading desk for the latest in asset-class that investors are considering. The move has been prompted by the interest the bank’s clients have expressed towards such instruments.
Even as early as three months ago the bank had been “constantly monitoring developments in the digital currency space” and not considered any decision with regard to using and utilization of these currencies.
For the bank, the decentralized currency is a “real challenge.”
At the start of the year, CEO Jes Stately had said that “…on the one hand, there is the innovative side of it and 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.”
However, a few months in the cryptocurrency market appears to be multiplied, and Barclays has now declared that it would take initial steps and consider the new and interesting pathway of cryptocurrencies.
New Posts for top Executives
The concept of the bank has been apparently changed, and it will now reconsider its past happenings in fiat-currencies to create new opportunities for its executives. It has now created a new post called as ‘Head of Digital Assets Project: Barclays Investment Bank.’
Another top post of Director of oil options trading, Matthieu Jobbe Duval, shall assume the post of ‘Digital Assets trading – Consultant at Barclays.’
Hence, apart from non-confirmation of the bank’s interests in these type of products the appointment and reassignment of their roles is a clear indicator of the direction Barclays would like to explore in the immediate future.
The bank’s directions to Duval have been to “produce a business plan for integrating a digital assets trading desk into [the bank’s] markets business revenue opportunity.” The considerations of this plan will be to evaluate the “ competitive landscape” currently for this type of asset and will also focus on creating or allocations of “budgets, planning for delivery,” of instruments which are related to this. It will have an “IT buildout, capital and balance sheet impact.”
The bank is also reportedly denying any such move, in its official capacity.
While Barclays prefers to keep its forays into new horizons of assets and related technologies, other banking giants are not as reticent. Banks such as Goldman Sachs as well as JPMorgan Chase are committed to this direction and are considering the adoption of the new type of offering called as the ‘custody’ holding of assets for purposes of cryptocurrency usage.
The scenario is vastly different to even a few months ago when the institutions were averse to the risks that the virtual currencies represented. Almost a year ago, the big banks had been highly scathing about the technology in use in the generation and the use of virtual coins.
In the meanwhile, along with the banks revisiting their attitudes towards this type of currencies, the market conditions have improved, and the adoption of non-fiat currencies for everyday use has also increased substantially.