Goldman Sachs, a major investment bank in New York, has announced a new Bitcoin venture. This comes two weeks after it created and filled the new role of Head of Digital Asset Markets.
According to the New York Times, the bank will “begin using its own money to trade with clients in a variety of contracts linked to the price of Bitcoin.” It will also begin seeking regulatory approval to trade Bitcoin itself.
Rana Yared, Managing Director-Principal Strategic Investments, is overseeing the operation. She said that the move is the result of inquiries received from hedge funds and other foundations that have come into possession of cryptocurrency but do not know how to handle it.
The board of directors of the bank eventually decided that Bitcoin contract trading was the appropriate way forward.
Said Yared: “It resonates with us when a client says, ‘I want to hold Bitcoin or Bitcoin futures because I think it is an alternate store of value.’”
She added that the bank has decided that Bitcoin is not a fraud, but is aware of the risks involved: “I would not describe myself as a true believer who wakes up thinking Bitcoin will take over the world. For almost every person involved, there has been personal skepticism brought to the table.”
The bank’s involvement with cryptocurrency dates back to 2015 when it invested in Circle Internet Financial. Circle recently acquired a cryptocurrency exchange called Poloniex for $400 million.
Bloomberg reported in December 2017 that the bank would be opening a Bitcoin trading desk by June 2018, although CEO Lloyd Blankfein shortly afterward said that the bank would be limiting itself to providing services to Bitcoin derivative traders – the bank clears the Bitcoin futures offered by two major Chicago exchanges for “certain clients.”
Two days ago the bank was fined $110 million for routine foreign exchange market manipulation from 2008 to 2015.