More and more financial institutions are considering crypto trading, survey finds

Thomson Reuters, a mass media company has discovered that one in five of its financial services clients is contemplating trading cryptocurrencies this year.

The company surveyed more than 400 clients like Eikon, REDI, FXall, and Elektron, on its data and trading platforms.

According to the firm’s director of new content initiatives Sam Chadwick, more than 20% of these clients were “really interested and actively investigating” launching digital currency trading operations in 2018.

A press statement established that 70 percent of the companies looking into crypto trading plan to start in three to six months, while another 22 percent plan to begin in six to 12 months.

Chadwick highlighted the change in attitudes, stating that a year ago, “as we were engaging clients, none of them had any special interest in digital currencies.” Customers were instead drawn to  “the smart contracts and blockchain side of things.”

Chadwick insisted that interest has since prominently turned towards digital currencies. For instance, within Eikon’s foreign exchange section, traffic to the landing page for cryptocurrencies comes second only to the euro. Thomson Reuters has also improved its bitcoin price feed with data for ether, bitcoin cash, Ripple, and litecoin, as well as bitcoin futures prices and indices rendered by CryptoCompare.

Some survey respondents declared, “we will trade anything,” he proceeded. However, in general, interest centered on those coins with higher market caps. Some further showed interest in trading ICO tokens, but “privacy coins” like monero and zcash had few takers. And some said they were open to trading crypto, but only via ETFs or related instruments.

Chadwick refused to name the customers that had shown interest in digital currency trading, but he stated they included hedge funds, large asset managers, and “the trading desks at some prominent banks.”

Reflecting on why financial institutions are now interested in cryptocurrency trading all of a sudden, Chadwick said there was “obviously” some relationship with cryptocurrencies’ prices. He continued, though, that conventional financial players might be interested in gaining familiarity with tokenized assets in general since they expect a wave of new instruments like crypto bonds, blockchain-based equity, and tokenized dividends.

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