In the midst of cryptocurrency trading volatility, one more bank has backed away from a trading project — this time it is Barclays. As reported by sites such as Financial News, the investment firm has scrapped plans to bring to market a cryptocurrency trading project. The firm had a team place that was directed to look at how digital assets may be brought into its markets business.
The plan is now “on ice,” according to reports. As noted by Financial News, in reference to the management team, Chris Tyrer, Barclays’ former head of energy trading, had been at the helm of that team. However, the publication said, Tyrer left Barclays earlier in the year after the crypto project was halted. He had worked with Marvin Barth, head of FX and emerging markets macro strategy at Barclays.
The goal had been to see if cryptocurrencies had viability as a long-term asset class, and whether there would be demand across the company’s client base. There was also some discussion as to what IT infrastructure would be required to underpin those efforts.
The company’s CEO said in May that the bank was cautious about cryptos: “There is the possibility of cryptocurrencies being used for activities that the bank wants to have no part of,” he said.
Bloomberg reported last month on the heels of Tyrer’s departure that Barclays remained “among a handful of large banks, including Citigroup Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., exploring business opportunities in digital assets from trading, to derivatives and custody.” Yet, the movement to bring cryptos into daily banking activities remained slow, as banks have been wary of compliance issues that have been tied to anti-money laundering (AML) efforts.