Barclays Bank will not launch a dedicated cryptocurrency desk, at least not immediately. The banks CEO Jes Staley has ruled out the possibility of an immediate launch while admitting to exploring venturing into cryptocurrency-related business.
This revelation came during Barclay’s annual general meeting held on the 1st of May, 2018. While responding to a shareholder inquiry on the subject, the chief executive of British multi-national investment bank said the bank was looking into cryptocurrency-related business but wary of regulatory and compliance issues which he stated saying cryptocurrency represents “a real challenge for us” at present.
The rumors surfaced earlier last month April that Barclay was carrying out “preliminary discussions” to measure customer’s interest regarding launching a cryptocurrency trading desk of its own. Jes remarks suggest that the rumors have now been finally put to rest. In conformity with his earlier statement, the CEO pointedly stated: “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,” he further offered that if there exists the possibility of cryptocurrency being used for nefarious activities, the bank wants to have no part of it.”
Jes Staley’s remarks come at a time when key banks globally are questioning the extent to become involve in cryptocurrency especially when the price of bitcoin rose drastically last year before a sharp fall in early 2018. Notwithstanding, the currency has been embraced by major exchange groups like Global Markets and CME Group which launched bitcoin futures in late 2017 to enable investors to predict on the rise and fall of the cryptocurrency’s value. In an interview last week, the chief executive, Adena Friedman of NASDAQ revealed that the world’s second-largest stock exchange would ‘consider becoming a cryptocurrency exchange, over time’ in a regulated market.