How many financial firms are looking to get involved with cryptocurrency? Twenty percent, according to an industry poll conducted by Thomson Reuters — and that’s likely just the start.
The Herd is Approaching
A survey by Canadian multinational mass media and information firm Thomson Reuters found that 20 percent of its more than 400 clients are considering making a concerted push into the cryptocurrency market within the next half year.
Neill Penney, the co-head of trading at Thomson Reuters explained:
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.
Indeed, even those in the financial world uninterested in the cryptocurrency market would be unwise to completely ignore its quick-profit potential. Bill Barhydt, the CEO of American Express-backed cryptocurrency startup Abra, told Business Insider last month:
I talk to hedge funds, high net worth individuals, even commodity speculators. They look at the volatility in the crypto markets and they see it as a huge opportunity. Once that happens, all hell will break loose.
Wall Street is Ready to Join the Party
Thomson Reuters’ results come after Goldman Sachs announced the hiring of former trader Justin Schmidt, who will head the multinational investment bank’s and financial services company’s digital asset markets in Goldman’s securities division.
Schmidt previously served as both a senior VP at Seven Eight Capital and portfolio manager at LMR Partners and has apparently been brought on by an increased interest in cryptocurrency from Goldman’s clients. Said Goldman Sach’s spokeswoman Tiffany Galvin-Cohen:
In response to client interest in various digital products, we are exploring how best to serve them in the space. At this point, we have not reached a conclusion on the scope of our digital asset offering.
The increased interest from Goldman’s clients coincides with a general increase in interest from Wall Street, at large — where many individuals were late to the party after last year’s epic bull run. Don’t expect them to miss the boat this time.
What do you think of the increased interest in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies from institutional investors? Do you think a tidal wave of trading is about to hit the market? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of iStockPhoto, AP
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