Barclays puts crypto trading plans on ice

For goodness' sake, make your mind up, Barclays!

Barclays has halted work on a cryptocurrency trading project, according to a report by Financial News citing two people familiar with the situation.

This states that the bank shelved it in September, after a number of major challenges emerged and customers showed no real enthusiasm. The decision lead to the departure of Chris Tyrer, the bank’s former Head of Energy Trading who had been fronting the initiative.

Will they or won’t they?

In August, we reported that Tyrer, along with Barclays trader, Mattieu Jobbe Duval, wrote on his LinkedIn profile that he was involved in the project. Their employer, however, denied its existence.

Duval said he had been hired to “price a business plan for integrating a digital assets trading desk into Barclays’ markets business: revenue opportunity, competitive landscape, budgeting and planning for delivery, IT build out, capital & balance sheet impact.”

Yet, after media outlets approached the bank for more information on the project, both Duval and Tyrer modified their LinkedIn profiles. Tyrer refused to comment, although Duval said the information posted had been “accurate”.

Barclays’ denial contradicted a patent application announced during the previous month. This described a system “wherein amounts of digital currency may be created, destroyed, split, joined or transferred by adding suitable operation data to a digital currency ledger (for example, a blockchain)”.

It also highlighted that “some operations may be performed only by authorised entities (such as the create and destroy operations), and other operations may be performed by any entity that holds or owns the amount of digital currency on which the operation is to be performed (for example split, join and transfer operations)”.

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