In a new report courtesy of Bloomberg, international investment bank Barclays has reportedly sought consumer feedback on the feasibility of opening a cryptocurrency trading desk.
Bloomberg cites that Barclays has conducted preliminary assessments designed to gauge whether client interest would be sufficient to sustain the potential offering.
The move, if implemented, might see Barclays become one of the first major international investment banks to accommodate the transactions of hedge funds and other cryptocurrency-focussed offerings.
Accordingly, it is believed that due to the “novelty of the asset class, risk and compliance requirements”, the intended trading desk would require the approval of company President Tim Throsby.
Publicly, Barclays has dismissed the rumor – with company spokesperson Andrew Smith indicating that “Barclays has no plans at this time to build a cryptocurrency trading desk. We constantly monitor developments in the digital currency space and will continue to have a dialog with our clients on their needs and intentions in this market going forward.”
Barclays has previously issued capricious comments on cryptocurrencies – Marvin Barth, head of global FX strategy at the firm, had described the emergence of digital assets as similar to “the spread of an infectious disease” and quipped that existing investors had developed “immunity to further investment” as recently as April 10th.
Similar rumors indicating interest in cryptocurrency investment have dogged other leading investment banks – Goldman Sachs has been similarly expected to open up its own cryptocurrency trading desk, despite the fact that company CEO Lloyd Blankfein went on to describe such reports as “not true”.
In perhaps what stands as cryptocurrency’s most stunning turnaround, JPMorgan Chase CEO and avid Bitcoin critic Jamie Dimon recently indicated that he ‘regrets’ calling Bitcoin a ‘fraud’, and has indicated that while neither concept truly holds his interest, he remains optimistic towards the potential of blockchain’s technology.