Barclays is allegedly gearing up to launch a cryptocurrency trading desk, although it has denied the existence of any such project.
Barclays traders, Mattieu Jobbe Duval and Chris Tyrer, both wrote on their LinkedIn profiles that they were involved in the project. In May, Tyrer was moved from his position as the Global Head of Energy Trading at Barclays to head up the initiative.
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 buildout, capital & balance sheet impact.”
Barclays denies information
However, after Business Insider approached the bank for more information on the project, both Duval and Tyrer modified their LinkedIn profiles. Tyrer refused to comment on the issue, but Duval told Business Insider the information on his Linkedin profile was “accurate”, although he declined to make any other comment.
Barclays’ denial contradicts its patent application announced last month. This describes 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 highlights 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)”.
So, whether Barclays is working on a crypto trading desk or not, the fact is that it has a patent application and employees in place.
And it’s not alone, as Goldman Sachs recently announced the creation of a Bitcoin trading desk. JPMorgan has appointed its first head of crypto assets strategy and Morgan Stanley has hired a crypto veteran as head of digital asset markets.