Barclays Freezes Its Cryptocurrency Trading Project

Barclays Freezes Its Cryptocurrency Trading Project

October 15, 2018 Off By Maheen Hernandez

Barclays has been working on a cryptocurrency trading project to tap the potential of the cryptocurrency market.

In an tapping the potentials of the flourishing industry, the investment bank formed a senior team early this year in 2018 to identify ways in which they can incorporate the trading assets into their market structure. However, this initiative has been put to hold according to people who were up to date about the progress of the team.

They stated that the trading platform had been put “on ice”

Chris Tyrer was the former head at the energy trading wing.   He moved into a full-time role in the process of leading the ‘digital assets project’ earlier this year; however, he left service with the bank in September.  His decision to leave the office was after the cryptocurrency trading project was put to halt.

Tyrer along with Marvin Barth, Lee Braine, and Matthie Jobbe Duval was working on the project.  They were researching on the perspective of whether cryptocurrencies can be called a long-term asset class.  They were further researching into whether the already existing clients with Barclays had any appetite for this particular asset class and also about the kind of infrastructure that will be required for this project.

Marvin Barth previously stated that “the spread of crypto-hysteria is like an infectious disease.”  Marvin Barth, the head of the FX strategy had to say, the crypto investors can be classified as “infected individuals, susceptible individuals, and those who are not yet vulnerable and those who are immune.”

The infection process he says happens by word of mouth, personal anecdotes, blogs, and news report.  While critics have stated that crypto investment is like a giant Ponzi scheme, regulators have already warned their investors about their entire money is at risk.

According to Barclays, this is a “low trust sector.”

Jes Staley, the chief executive at Barclays, spoke during the annual meeting of Barclays in the month of May, and he stated that there are regulatory and compliance issues surrounding the cryptocurrency as an asset class.  He further stated that “There is a possibility of cryptocurrencies being used for activities in which the bank wants to have no part of.”

This decision of Barclays to ice off the project would be of interest to their rivals who were as well investigating into profiting from the asset class.  The rivals were also were exploring the ways in which they can tap into the investor interest in the cryptocurrency industry.

Of note, JPMorgan deployed Oliver Harris to the position of the head of crypto-strategy in May. Goldman Sachs has stated that they are looking to opening a desk for trading the cryptocurrencies.

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