Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), the investment banking behemoth, is in the process of examining the prospect of launching a new trading operation dedicated to Bitcoin and more cryptocurrencies. This is according to a report in the Wall Street Journal that quoted “people familiar with the matter”.
Unlike the usual anti-bank rhetoric in the crypto community, most opinion leaders reacted this time with great approval to the news that one of the biggest names on Wall St is embracing the instruments.
Alex Mashinsky, CEO of Celsius, reacted: “The amazing appreciation of cryptocurrencies in the past two years has greatly surpassed even the booming public market which are hitting new highs almost daily. Even GS can’t sit idle and see this asset class balloon without them. Over $150B in capital is now invested in this asset class and this number is expected to grow 10x over the next decade.”
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Rob Viglione, co-founder of ZenCash, explained: “The fact that Goldman Sachs is considering the launch of a bitcoin and digital currency trading operation is excellent news for the industry, and shows that the firm continues to lead its peers. The big news here — whether GS moves forward with this or not — is that cryptocurrency markets seem to be reaching the minimum level of maturity required for institutional money. That’s a significant milestone, and could well signal a step-function type boost to liquidity, depth, and all the other important characteristics that make for modern capital markets.”
Sol Lederer, Blockchain DIrector at LOOMIA, said: “It’s becoming apparent that bitcoin has matured past the point where people’s knee-jerk reaction is, “oh that’s used for drugs and money laundering”. With the recent conversation focused around blockchain technology, bitcoin has passed a threshold of legitimacy needed for a reputable institution to at least dabble in. Goldman has many alternative investments already that we would find surprising. They were close to putting $300 million into “celebrity bonds”—bonds backed by Bob Dylan royalties, and they have made bets on the recidivism rates of Rikers Island inmates. So the threshold for an investment bank just has to be high enough that they can justify it to their clients. Apparently bitcoin has just crossed that line.”
Bharath Rao, CEO of Leverj, a decentralized exchange for cryptocurrency derivatives, commented: “The returns on cryptocurrency have been nothing short of spectacular, and we are excited to see mainstream institutions entering this space. Among Wall Street firms, Goldman was one of the first to recognize the potential of bitcoin and the blockchain. Realizing crypto would be a significant part of the financial future is one thing; acting on it is another. A large financial institution will not jump straight into a market until it has checked the boxes for the necessary operational readiness, regulatory certainty, and technical depth.”