Barclays has been assessing customer interest in cryptocurrency, setting up a dedicated trading desk and potentially entering into a partnership with Goldman Sachs.
The news comes from an unnamed source, who claims that the bank has done preliminary research and assessment into the demand and feasibility of crypto.
Spokesperson Andrew Smith told Bloomberg: “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.”
Bloomberg notes that any such trading desk would need approval from boss Tim Throsby and perhaps even CEO Jes Staley, who built Barclay’s investment branch as part of a strategy to boost earnings.
Just last month, Coinbase struck a deal with Barclays to handle its UK banking.
Crypto activity from Barclays stands in direct contrast to the comments made by economists comparing the surge in Bitcoin value to an “infection”.
“We developed a theoretical model of an asset price with a pool of speculative investors and compared it with actual Bitcoin price behaviour to see what it might imply for future dynamics,” they said. “The model has clear parallels with compartmental models of the spread of an infectious disease in epidemiology.”
Barclays now believes that Bitcoin has now been treated and is on its way to recovery, and a cryptocurrency trading desk could be the manifestation of this attitude.