This year has not been good for the cryptocurrency industry, and the last punch in the gut for this year comes in the form of Wall Street’s reluctance in stepping into the crypto space, despite many executives having previously expressed interest in doing so. According to a report by Bloomberg, Wall Street is currently “in limbo” when it comes to digital currencies.
Up until just a few months ago, the veritable whos-who of Wall Street, including Morgan Stanley, Citibank, Goldman Sachs, and Barclays had expressed their interest in actively entering the cryptocurrency industry. However, once the bear-phase hit with its full intensity, the finance industry immediately took a step back. Bloomberg’s recent report cited some unnamed sources from inside Wall Street saying that the banking giants had reportedly decided to keep their plans on hold for now.
The report cites information sourced from Bloomberg’s various sources placed in Goldman, Morgan, Barclays and Citigroup. The report first of all digs into what’s going on at Goldman, and says:
“Progress has been so slow as to be barely noticeable, according to people familiar with its crypto business. Many in the industry now say it was quixotic to have expected last year’s frenzy to translate into a Wall Street crypto offering.”
Additionally, the article says that the market had set their expectations too high when it came to Goldman Sachs entering the sector, thinking that they would ‘jump right in’. However, that is not the case.
Morgan Stanley was only ‘testing the waters’ of the industry, having prepared to offer swaps tracking Bitcoin futures since September. However, the company has not traded a single contract to date. The company apparently plans to offer these contracts again once it sees proven signs of institutional or client demand.
Similarly, Citigroup has only been toying with the idea of entering the cryptocurrency market. The company made provisions to trade cryptocurrencies by proxy or without owning them, through digital asset receipts. But those receipts have also not been traded even once. And Barclays, which hired two former oil traders to explore the business earlier this year, has seen both of them exiting the company within a few months.
However, many experts are holding out, expressing their belief that 2019 may turn things in the industry’s favour. With this year coming to an end on a less-than-ideal note for cryptocurrencies, one can only remain optimistic and hope that the next year will bring in better opportunities and finally draw in these big Wall Street players into the crypto market.