CCBeast Special

Barclays’s Crypto Trading Project has been Halted!
Editorial Team

Barclays has recently stopped an internal cryptocurrency trading project due to the bearish cryptocurrency market, according to the Financial News London’s article published on October 15.

The news came from two people familiar with the situation, who said that while the British investment bank was eager to enter dynamically the crypto market earlier this year, it finally changed its direction.

The bank has originally assembled a senior team to explore the potential of cryptocurrencies earlier in this year. He was assessing the possibility of incorporating the trading of cryptocurrencies to the existing service. Chris Tyrer, Barclays’ previous head of energy trading, was initially leading the cryptocurrency project in 2018. He, however, left the company in September after Barclays decided to stop the project.

The Financial News mentioned that Tyrer previously worked with Marvin Barth, head of FX and EM macro strategy at Barclays, on the cryptocurrency project. Other key members in the venture included Lee Braine, CTO of the investment bank, and Matthieu Jobbe Duval, a consultant from Barclays.

According to Business Insider, Goldman Sachs has also stopped its cryptocurrency trading project due to similar reasons.

“[E]xecutives have concluded that many steps still need to be taken, most of them outside its control, before a regulated bank would be allowed to trade cryptocurrencies,” said Dakin Campbell and Frank Chaparro from Business Insider. However, as the publication reports, the bank could choose to revive its plans later.

After a research by Goldman Sachs representative Michael DuVally in his discussion to Barrons, a financial and investment news site, they have unfortunately not reached a clear conclusion on digital assets and they have not yet defined their scope.

According to The Information, while financial institutions are shying away from cryptocurrencies, the asset class is growing greater acceptance and popularity from some of the top universities such as Harvard University, Stanford University, Dartmouth College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of North Carolina. These universities have each invested in at least one cryptocurrency fund from their endowments.

These university endowments invested tens of millions into cryptocurrency funds, which include physical cryptocurrency tokens and equity in certain cryptocurrency firms. This move declares that these universities are actively engaging in the crypto industry providing great validation for the sector passing it into the state of maturation.

Bloomberg also reported recently that Ivy League school Yale University has also joined the educational institutions listed above as a cryptocurrency investor. Yale’s endowment recently helped a cryptocurrency fund, known as Paradigm, raise $400 million.

The unclear regulation, the high levels of market manipulation and the bearish cryptocurrency market consist of strong barriers to the legitimization of the new asset class. Thus, it seems the way for cryptocurrency industry to enter a mainstream market is still long away. According to the NEPC consulting firm, in Feb. 2018, there is still 96 percent of endowments and foundations that do not invest in cryptocurrencies.