Barclays has suspended its work on a proposed cryptocurrency trading platform. The UK banking behemoth, for now, prefers not to incorporate digital assets into its legacy trading activities.
Not Pursuing Cryptocurrency Trading for Now
According to the Financial News, the investment banking giant is halting work on its cryptocurrency trading initiative. Inside sources reveal that the bank, for now, no longer plans a foray into the world of virtual assets trading.
Barclays initially instituted a four-person team to examine the merits of creating a virtual assets trading platform for the bank. Chris Tyrer along with Marvin Barth, Lee Braine, and Matthieu Jobbe Duval were the members of the team.
At the time, Tyrer, the former energy trading chief at Barclays, and his team investigated the long-term viability of digital assets. They also looked at whether the bank’s clients would have any interest in trading cryptocurrencies as well as the essential technical requirements of a digital asset trading platform.
According to reports, Tyrer’s decision to quit Barclays in September was due to the bank’s decision not to continue with the project. As of press time, neither Tyrer nor Barclays had given any statement on the matter.
Mainstream Institutions Taking a Cautious Approach
Barclays’ decision is yet another example of mainstream institutions not ready to fully commit to the emerging asset class. For many, issues over the regulatory landscape as well as the volatility of cryptocurrencies make them unsuitable for their business model.
Earlier in the year, Live Bitcoin News reported Jes Stanley, the Barclays CEO, saying the bank had no intention on launching a cryptocurrency trading desk. Back then, Stanley highlighted regulatory and compliance issues as the reason for the decision.
For other mainstream players like Nasdaq, it is a question of waiting for the emergence of robust cryptocurrency regulations that offer investor protection assurance before any definitive move can be made. Recently, reports emerged that Nasdaq was mulling the creation of a trading platform for security tokens.
Some of Barclays’ rivals over on Wall Street, such as JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs, could see the bank’s decision as an incentive to intensify their efforts of creating entry points into the emerging asset class. Last month, Goldman Sachs refuted reports that it had pivoted away from opening a Bitcoin trading desk in favor of offering only custodial solutions.
Will Barclays’ rivals like Goldman Sachs take this news as an opportunity to fast-track their Bitcoin trading desk projects? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
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