Cryptocurrency has been in the news a lot lately. Interest in cryptocurrency has boomed in the last couple of years, particularly in the second half of 2017 when Bitcoin values surged.
An industry poll by Thomson Reuters has revealed that a fifth of finance companies in the UK are considering trading in cryptocurrency this year.
For the study they surveyed over 400 of Thomson Reuters’ clients and found that the majority of those interested in crypto (70%) were considering a push into the market within the next six months. An additional 22% plan to trade in crypto in the next 6-12 months.
Neill Penney, co-head of trading at Thomson Reuters said: “Cryptocurrency is still a relatively small part of the trading market, but this survey makes clear this niche segment is starting to enter the mainstream of the financial services industry. This is a major change from a year ago.”
Globally there are over 200 hedge funds that are cryptocurrency-focused. The combined assets under management are at $5 billion.
Crypto moves to Wall Street
Goldman Sachs recently hired their first employee to work exclusively on digital currency.
They will run a trading desk which will be up and running by June. This is the first big Wall Street firm to move into the cryptocurrency market.
On the other hand, earlier this year the Bank of America made it clear that they were worried about the threat of cryptocurrencies.
The bank said: “Clients may choose to conduct business with other market participants who engage in business or offer products in areas we deem speculative or risky, such as cryptocurrencies.”
While some banks and hedge funds are trying their hand at trading with cryptocurrencies, most of the mainstream banks seem unconvinced and wary of the risks associated.
Decline in crypto
Despite the popularity boom, the numbers are pointing toward a gradual decline.
The start of this year has seen a decline in the cryptocurrency market. The value in December was $800 billion which has now gone down to around $400 billion.
This could suggest that crypto is more of a temporary trend than a long-lasting industry which is worth noting for those currently investing, trading or considering it for the future.
Are you involved in cryptocurrency? Would you advise caution or do you think crypto should be explored more? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments.