The collision between Wall Street’s leading executives and cryptocurrencies continues, with Goldman Sachs’ (NYSE:GS) CEO Lloyd Blankfein weighing in. Mr. Blankfein seems to be towing a more neutral, open line towards cryptos, even portending grounds for considering Bitcoin trading.
The stance represents a stark contrast to other Wall Street executives, many of which have drawn their line firmly in the sand. Back in September, JPMorgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon offered a scathing assessment of Bitcoin, claiming the crypto to be a fraud that was destined to implode.
On the other side of the spectrum has been the bullish stance adopted by former hedge fund manager and Fortress Investment executive, Michael Novogratz. For his part, Mr. Blankfein has expressed a willingness to warm to Bitcoin, with its ascension becoming almost an inevitability.
“[Bitcoin] is not for me. But there is a lot of things that there weren’t for me in the past that have worked out very well. If it was 20 years forward and it worked out, I could tell you why it worked out. But based on everything that I know, I am not guessing that it will work out,” he explained in a recent interview with Bloomberg.
Bubble or new norm?
Bitcoin has indeed been one of the most polarizing financial constructs in recent memory, with its unbelievable rise in 2017 rapidly redefining the financial space. Many experts have warned that Bitcoin and the crypto boom is simply a bubble, while others cite the vulnerabilities and risks associated with these instruments.
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The unique nature of Bitcoin is perhaps one of the few things capable of slowing its own advance. “One of the main uses of Bitcoin is as a vehicle to perpetrate fraud. And that is maybe because you can’t trace it. So is cash, but guess what, it is hard to accumulate cash, sometimes,” he noted.
Still, the rise of Bitcoin and adoption amongst retail brokers, hedge funds, and other channels cannot be understated. Like anything novel and groundbreaking there are no shortage of sceptics, with Mr. Blankfein pointing to humanity’s initial distrust of paper currency as a viable means of exchange, according to a recent Coin Telegraph article.
While it’s still too early to say if Goldman Sachs will install a Bitcoin trading desk, its implications would be manifold for the broader industry. Such a move would signal an endorsement for other lenders, hedge funds, and investors. This would undoubtedly be seen as a net positive for Bitcoin as well as other smaller cap currencies such as Ethereum and others.
The price of Bitcoin has largely mirrored its pattern of adoption by venues in 2017, ultimately driving it to new heights in November. Mr. Blankfein was noncommittal however when asked about Goldman’s future prospects towards a more cohesive Bitcoin offering.
“We will see. If it works out and it gets more established, it trades like a store of value, it doesn’t move up and down 20% and there is liquidity in it, we will think about it,” he clarified.