One in 5 finance firms is considering trading cryptocurrencies

A fifth of finance firms are considering getting into cryptocurrency trading within the next year, according to an industry poll by Thomson Reuters.

A survey of over 400 Thomson Reuters clients found that one in five is considering getting into crypto, with the majority weighing a push into the market within the next six months.

Interest in cryptocurrencies surged in the second half of 2017 as the price of bitcoin surged. The mainstream interest culminated in CME and CBOE launching bitcoin futures in December. But these products have been thinly traded and institutional interest in cryptocurrencies remains a niche concern.

There are over 200 cryptocurrency-focused hedge funds globally, according to fintech research firm Autonomous Next, but their combined assets under management are only $5 billion at a maximum.

Neill Penney, co-head of trading at Thomson Reuters, said: “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.”

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