Barclays staff removes evidence of plans to launch crypto trading desk

Barclays continues to deny it is planning to launch a dedicated cryptocurrency desk anytime soon, despite previous rumours to the contrary.

The latest rumblings came from the removal of evidence from the LinkedIn pages of two employees this week. Previously, Business Insider reports, Matthieu Jobbe Duval and Chris Tyrer both had crypto-related duties listed on their profiles.

Duval’s page, for example, featured the job description: “Hired to produce a business plan for integrating a digital assets trading desk into Barclays’ markets business: revenue opportunity, competitive landscape, budgeting and planning for delivery, I.T. buildout, capital and balance sheet impact.”

Back in May, CEO Jes Staley denied that the banking giant was making moves towards embracing cryptocurrency on this level, after it was reported that ‘preliminary discussions’ were in progress.

He said at the time: “Cryptocurrency is a real challenge for us because, on the one hand, there is the innovative side of it wanting to stay in the forefront of technology’s improvement in finance. 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.”

This is a familiar dichotomy for organisations, with the capacity for cryptocurrency to be used for nefarious means or a lack of formal regulations offsetting its huge potential to overhaul the financial world.

In April, we reported on Barclays’ assessment of customer interest in crypto, when spokesperson Andrew Smith said: “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.”

Coinbase also struck a deal with the bank in March, allowing the digital wallet and crypto exchange to issue e-money and provide payment services in the UK.