British multinational investment bank Barclays has assembled a team comprised of senior staff to explore the prospect of trading cryptocurrencies, joining other firms like institutional investing giant BlackRock to locate opportunities within the digital currency space.
Barclays transitioned its global head of energy trading, Chris Tyrer, into a full-time role leading this new “digital assets project.” Specifically, the project will explore the possibility of integrating a digital assets trading desk into its capital markets business.
The move runs contrary to what chief executive Jes Staley previously expressed regarding cryptocurrencies.
“Cryptocurrency is a real challenge for us because, on the one hand, there is the innovative side of it and wanting to stay in the forefront of technology’s improvement in finance,” said Staley. “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.”
Is this an example of “stealth mode” memo did not reach the right people? https://t.co/xBRRGdmfJX
— Thomas Lee (@fundstrat) August 6, 2018
Bakkt Joint Venture
Bitcoin is currently priced at $7,123.66–up 2.09% the last 24 hours, but down about 15% since reaching $8,371.80 on July 24. The price got propped up recently with the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) announcing the formation of a new company–Bakkt–to help launch a federally-related market for cryptocurrencies and gain more acceptance for use in retail business transactions.