The cryptocurrency trading market is about to receive an influx of more big banks, hedge funds and other financial institutions within the next few months to a year. A new survey shows that while most are keeping quiet in public about their crypto plans, many are preparing to enter the field.
Also Read: Barclays Testing the Waters for a Cryptocurrency Trading Desk
Big Players Prepare to Charge
Toronto-headquartered multinational information firm Thomson Reuters Corporation (NYSE: TRI), published a survey on Tuesday revealing that 20% of financial institutions are studying the possibility of entering the cryptocurrency trading space within the next 12 months period. Furthermore, 70% of those considering starting trading cryptocurrencies are planning to do so in the next three to six months, according to the survey.
The company says that the survey covered more than 400 of its clients across Thomson Reuters platforms including large asset managers, hedge funds and trading desks at the biggest banks. Over 300,000 financial professionals working in asset management, hedge funds and other institutions get access to cryptocurrency data (including price quotes for BTC, BCH and ETH) via the Thomson Reuters Eikon platform.
“Historically, the banking sector has been notoriously dismissive of the crypto movement. Cryptocurrency has variously been called a bubble, an asset for criminals, and worthless. But today’s survey demonstrates that while financial institutions are saying one thing, they’re doing quite another,” commented Kevin Murcko, CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Coinmetro. “We’re witnessing a gradual institutionalization of the market, and this is sure to drive mainstream adoption. The move to accommodate digital currencies is also a symbolic one; it’s a sign of growing maturity in the market, and represents just how far cryptocurrency has come since its days of relative obscurity,” he added.
Goldman Setting the Stage
The most talked about major bank as widely considered to be in the process of entering the field is Goldman Sachs, although its CEO has denied in the past the rumors they are setting up a bitcoin trading desk. On Monday it was revealed that the company has recently hired Justin Schmidt, a former quantitative trader, to be the first head of digital asset markets in the company’s securities division.
“In response to client interest in various digital products, we are exploring how best to serve them in the space,” Goldman Sachs spokeswoman Tiffany Galvin-Cohen confirmed in a statement. “At this point, we have not reached a conclusion on the scope of our digital asset offering,” she added.
The bank should be more than aware of the huge demand hedge funds and other big investors have for cryptocurrency trading services. Circle, which is backed by Goldman Sachs, has recently doubled minimum ticket size on OTC bitcoin trades to $500,000 with an average of $1 million. And Chief executive Jeremy Allaire has told Business Insider that some transactions are now larger than $100 million and “That watermark will continue to rise.”
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