London –An industry poll by Thomson Reuters reveals that one-fifth of finance firms are considering moving into cryptocurrency trading within the next year.
A survey of more than 400 Thomson Reuters clients discovered that one in five is mulling over getting into crypto, with most of them thinking of taking a jump into the market within the next six months.
The second half of 2017 saw a surge in interest in cryptocurrencies due to Bitcoin’s fast growth. Mainstream interest for cryptocurrencies culminated with CME and CBOE introducing bitcoin futures in December. Both products were thinly traded and interest in cryptocurrencies is still a niche concern.
There are more than 200 hedge funds that focus on cryptocurrencies worldwide, according to fintech research firm Autonomous Next. However, their combined assets under management only amount to $5 billion at most.
According to Neil Penney, co-head of trading of Thomson Reuters,
“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.”
Since the start of 2018, the cryptocurrency market has gone through a huge slump, declining from a value of $800 billion in December to roughly $400 billion as of Monday this week. Many crypto bulls predict an increase in institutional money could be what the market needs to recover.
Abra CEO Bill Barhydt said in an interview last month, “I talk to hedge funds, high net-worth individuals, even commodity speculators. They look at the volatility in the crypto mrkets and they see it as a huge opportunity. Once that happens, all hell will break loose.”
On Monday Goldman Sachs was reported to have hired its first employee whose main focus will be exclusively on digital currencies.