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17 April

UK Banking Giant Barclays Plc has been gauging clients’ interest in the British bank starting a cryptocurrency trading desk, and has done a preliminary assessment of demand and feasibility, Bloomberg quotes people with knowledge of the matter as saying.

Meanwhile, the bank says it currently has no concrete plans to start such an operation.

“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,” spokesman Andrew Smith said.

One of the people said a crypto trading desk would require approval from investment bank boss Tim Throsby, and potentially Chief Executive Officer Jes Staley, given the novelty of the asset class, risk and compliance requirements. No other big European investment bank is known to be building such a desk.

Goldman Sachs is another major bank rumored to be setting up a trading desk to make markets in digital currencies, though Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein has publicly denied this report.

By Jade Olafson

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