Goldman Sachs is reportedly opening a trading desk dedicated to Bitcoin and other digital currencies by the end of June, if not earlier, people with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg Thursday.
The move represents another significant milestone in the asset’s mainstream adoption, which already took a giant leap forward this month when Cboe and CME Group exchanges launched their futures contracts.
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The action also makes the investment bank the first blue-chip Wall Street firm opening a dedicated cryptocurrency trading desk. This openness to deal directly in this burgeoning yet controversial market is also quite interesting, especially considering that Goldman Sachs’ CEO Lloyd Blankfein repeatedly stated that he is still not a believer in Bitcoin technology.
According to the report, the bank hasn’t decided where to house the desk, but the operations will likely involve both its currency-trading division and the bank’s strategic investment group. Goldman Sachs is now assembling a team in New York, says the report, and the new unit could eventually operate in making markets in crypto assets much as they do for currency or stocks instruments.
Price swings in Bitcoin are increasing as the 17-fold jump in the value of the currency that was initially viewed as a haven for illicit activity has now captivated everyone. But this merits the attention of Wall Street banks.
Big banks have dabbled in blockchain technology, which underpins Bitcoin, and acknowledged its potential to reshape the investment and banking industries. But they were mostly wary of venturing directly into making markets for such digital assets that have been used extensively on darkweb marketplaces.