One in five financial institutions consider cryptocurrency trading, survey says

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LONDON: One in five financial institutions is considering trading cryptocurrencies within the next 12 months, a survey published by an international news agency on Tuesday found.

Among those respondents who said they were willing to trade cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, the best known of the digital coins, 70 per cent said they were planning to start trading in the next three to six months, the survey showed.

The survey covered more than 400 clients across the news agencies platforms including large asset managers, hedge funds and trading desks at the biggest banks.

Retail interest in the buying and selling of digital coins exploded last year after prices skyrocketed, and institutional involvement has been predicted to grow, despite regulatory warnings that cryptocurrencies are highly risky and prone to scams.

Banks are examining client interest and several hedge funds have tried their hand trading virtual currencies.

Large falls in cryptocurrency prices this year, however, have encouraged critics to warn again that the market is a bubble and that investors should stay away.

The survey was the first conducted by the agency so it was not possible to gauge how the institutional appetite for crypto trading has changed.