Barclays, has been asking clients for their interest in a potential cryptocurrency trading desk, Bloomberg reported on April 16.
Barclays has already done a analysis of demand an feasiblity on the subject and said that it currently has no plans to start such an operation.
When reached for comment, Barclays spokesman Andrew Smith told CoinDesk:
“Barclays has no plans at this time to build a cryptocurrency trading desk. 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 going forward.”
Due to the risk and regulation requirements, a cryptocurrency trading desk would need approval from the head of investments, Tim Throsby and CEO Jes Staley.
Hedge funds that deal with bitcoin and other virtual currencies have been looking for banks to handle transactions for a while. A lot of investment institutions are struggling with rules that prevent them from using unregulated exchanges to buy crypto.
There are currently 226 hedge funds focused on crypto, according to Autonomous Research. Many got created after Bitcoin’s price skyrocketed last year.
If Barclays takes the first step to become a pioneer in the cryptocurrency world by opening the long-awaited trading desk, hedge funds will have a smooth path investing and trading digital currencies.