Category Archives: Barclays

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Facebook Crypto Could Pull $19 Billion Additional Revenue

Facebook Crypto Could Pull  Billion Additional Revenue

The as yet unconfirmed move by Facebook to develop a cryptocurrency for global payments has been cited by multinational banking group Barclays as a USD 19 billion opportunity for the social networking giant.

The company’s WhatsApp-driven crypto global payments system reported by The New York Times has still received no comments from Facebook but Barclays is already speculating on where this move, if it happens, could take the company’s profits by 2021.

Barclay’s internet analyst on Wall Street, Ross Sandler, has been happy to project figures on to what is still an unconfirmed report, also suggesting base-case of an incremental USD 3 billion in revenue from a successful cryptocurrency implementation if the crypto P2P system tied to fiat currencies goes ahead, adding:

“Merely establishing this revenue stream starts to change the story for Facebook shares in our view… Any attempt to build out revenue streams outside of advertising, especially those that don’t abuse user privacy are likely to be well-received by Facebook’s shareholders.”

Due to the huge user base of Facebook, numbering over 1 billion, a Facebook cryptocurrency would become extremely popular and has the potential to become one of the top cryptocurrencies quickly. The first hints that Facebook may be considering a move on cryptocurrency emerged last year when the company created a blockchain research team led by David Marcus, with a goal of leveraging blockchain technology, and possibly cryptocurrency, across its social network platform. Sandler predicts:

“Based on our checks, the first version of Facebook Coin may be a single purpose coin for micro-payments and domestic p2p money transfer (in-country), very similar to the original credits from 2010 and Venmo today.”

 

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It’s On, Off, On again: Is Barclays Ringing the Changes with a Crypto Trading Desk?

It's On, Off, On again: Is Barclays Ringing the Changes with a Crypto Trading Desk?

With Barclays investing in the preliminary assessment of a cryptocurrency trading desk, the British multinational investment bank has shown that it hasn’t quite shrugged off the lure of crypto trading.

The bank has been skirting cryptocurrency for some time now. In April 2018, it entered the blockchain arena, with Barclays UK announcing a new ventures unit to study “disruptive technology”.

This was driven by Barclays UK Ventures unit with an aim to “develop new customer propositions around major areas of disruptive technology”.  A month later, rumors began to emerge that that Barclays was monitoring client responses to the possibility of opening a trading desk for cryptocurrencies, although the bank suggested it was simply monitoring the space.

Months later, the former head of trading at Barclays was given a new position as Head of Digital Assets Project: Barclays Investment Bank, while the director of oil options trading at the bank, Matthieu Jobbe Duval became Digital Assets Trading – Consultant at Barclays. This prompted investors to expect a statement, which never came.

Blockchain has never been far from Barclay’s development plans and the bank has become an active promoter in the fintech sphere, recently hosting the Blockchain Interoperability Hackathon at the Barclays Rise fintech hub in London.

Clearly this latest assessment by the bank shows that they still have one eye on the space and the needs of its customers; needs which have also been expressed by JPMorgan clients recently. Rumors also abound that Goldman Sachs is considering hiring for a cryptocurrency trading team.

Like its counterparts across the pond, Barclays still appear to be very much in the game.

 

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Starting Young: UK High School Wins 3rd Place in Barclays Blockchain Comp

Starting Young: UK High School Wins 3rd Place in Barclays Blockchain Comp

Blockchain enthusiasts are starting young, as proved by the third-placed team at a blockchain interoperability hackathon at the Barclays Rise fintech hub in London. The hackathon was hosted by London-based blockchain startup Clearmatics.

The prize was awarded to a team of high school students from Bedford, who was up against challenging senior competition.

Not only did the students take away the third prize; their entry wasn’t planned ahead, with only two days to organize their project, according to Dr David Wild, head of computer science at Bedford School. His team knew almost nothing about blockchain tech just 48 hours prior to the contest.

Dr Wild guided his students through the process of designing a smart contract to share exam results between schools, exam boards, and university admissions by using the Ion framework. The teacher explained that the students’ lack of prior knowledge actually worked in their favor: “If you are writing a piece of software say, you want somebody who is naive to use it because they tend to use it in the ways that you wouldn’t imagine.”

The team of high school students who had not even sat their A-Level exams yet was pitted against blockchain experts from Santander and Barclays and other UK bank representations, as well as seasoned startups such as Web3j and Adhara.

One of the students commented on collecting their prize that it was truly a last-minute learning curve, pointing out: “We learned quite a lot about Solidity and smart contracts on the train.”

 

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Russian Gazprombank to Launch Crypto Trading Service

Russian Gazprombank to Launch Crypto Trading Service

State-owned Russian bank Gazprombank is making good on suggestions it made earlier in the year that it was hoping to provide cryptocurrency assets to its clients in the future.

Back in March, Gazprombank’s Swiss division declared that demand from clients asking for facilitation and management of cryptocurrency funds meant that this next move was definitely on its radar and consequently a July pilot was put in motion.

The Russian government is still reviewing cryptocurrency regulation under the Digital Assets Regulation Bill, filed 25 January. The bill defines cryptocurrencies and tokens as digital financial assets. If the bill passes in its current form, it would allow trading on cryptocurrency exchange operators with authorized Know-Your-Customer (KYC) standards. This would also apply to initial coin offerings (ICOs) established in Russia. The Russian Duma will also lay out specifications for interacting with crypto and blockchain-related technologies.

The bank has decided to forge ahead with 2019 as its latest target, snapping up partners Avaloq and Metaco on the way, using SILO, a product developed by blockchain technology company Metaco. Metaco has integrated SILO into one of Avaloq’s Banking Suite product. An older, more established company, Avaloq supplies “core banking” products to some major financial institutions, including HSBC, Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Avaloq’s Group Chief Technology Officer Thomas Beck claims that Metco’s integration of DLT will give crypto traders an extra layer of security:

“Thanks to the close integration of the Metaco storage solution, banking and wealth management customers won’t have to trust additional third parties when trading with cryptocurrencies. By bringing together all asset classes in one portfolio view, the solution will also ensure the highest levels of convenience and usability.”

In a joint statement released by the companies involved, they’ve stated that the bank will be able to “buy, sell and transfer crypto assets and currencies on behalf of clients and provide a consolidated portfolio view, without any need for a crypto-wallet or private key management”.

In other breaking crypto news from the region, the Russian Intellectual Property (IP) court has successfully used a blockchain-based solution for storing copyright data, with the court using blockchain solution provider IPChain‘s system to record a change in rights holder data of an IP, thus saving the data on the decentralized ledger permanently.

The IP recording platform is already working for the government of Uzbekistan, helping it record copyright data, especially in science and innovative sectors. Uzbekistan has also penned a deal with Kyrgyzstan’s State Patent Office, helping them digitize and store records in a decentralized environment.

 

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Coinbase Goes on Wall Street Hiring Spree as Part of Global Expansion

Coinbase has cut the ribbon for its new New York office with plans to expand the staff profile to 150 employees over the next 12 months.

As part of the company’s expansion plans, the current staff of 20 have been acquired from the New York Stock Exchange, Barclays, and Citigroup, which indicates the level of seriousness on its part in infiltrating the banking system. Adam White, general manager of Coinbase Institutional, explained the staffing direction the exchange was embarking on:

“We have to create a bridge between financial services and technology,” he added, “In order to do that, we need to pull from some of the best and brightest minds that have worked their whole careers in other kinds of traditional financial firms.”

With an expansion into the Irish Republic and now NYC, crypto exchange giant Coinbase is clearly on a push to amplify its influence around the globe. In its push to raise its corporate and institutional investor client base, the office is following the NYSE with its new staffing profile. According to Christine Sandler, the company’s head of institutional sales, its focus on institutional investors should sit comfortably with its retail investment trade. She commented:

“We want to partner with appropriate institutions to help the whole ecosystem grow.” She further said, “It’s not ‘institutional or retail,’ because a lot of these institutions will be distributors