It would seem as though most major banks and financial institutions still turn up their noses at cryptocurrencies—at least publicly. Behind the scenes, however, they could be exploring crypto options, feeling out their clients’ moods to try and ascertain if there is ample interest to offer a digital currency solution. And, it only makes sense. Any successful business will adapt to changing times to ensure it can survive in a world that is constantly evolving. The latest to make the intelligent decision to explore cryptocurrency options comes by way of Barclays bank.
Rumors have begun circulating that Barclays has been sending out feelers to its clients in an effort to gauge whether there is enough of a market for Barclays to get into the game. Barclays is said to be considering a cryptocurrency desk, and has been making inquiries of its customers, including its hedge fund operators and strong investors. If Barclays does pull the trigger, it would become the first major bank in London with its foot in the cryptocurrency door.
In a statement that Barclays provided to Bloomberg, spokesman Andrew Smith said, “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.” It’s only common sense, and several banking giants—such as Bank of America and Lloyds—have already said that cryptocurrencies could force them to change their business models.
The demand for cryptocurrency solutions is definitely there. One only has to glance at the amount of money being collected for new blockchain innovations, Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) and the like to understand how much weight investors are putting on digital currency. Billions of dollars are being tapped for the advancement of cryptocurrencies.
One of the issues Barclays might face, provided it decides to move forward, could come from regulations. Specifically, the lack of them. Many countries still have not developed strong legal guidelines that define cryptocurrencies and blockchains, but the frameworks are in the pipeline. There is talk of the European Union having some type of guidance established by the end of the summer, and the U.S. has ramped up its interest, as well. It should only be a matter of time before more financial institutions start to provide the digital currency options that their clients want. If not, they’ll be relegated to watching as more and more clients flock to those that do.
New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek’s Bitcoin for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about Bitcoin—as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto—and blockchain.