Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) has pivoted once again when it comes to crypto. Some time ago, it was widely reported that Goldman was launching a crypto trading desk. First reported in 2017, Goldman was predicted to launch a digital asset trading desk by June 2018. The move was said to be in response to client interest.
In the spring of 2018, Goldman went public with its intent to offer crypto trading.
Goldman Sachs executive Rana Yared commented at that time:
“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.”
By the fall of 2018, Goldman had decided to shelve its crypto trading desk as they revisited digital assets, cryptically stating “we have not reached a conclusion on the scope of our digital asset offering.”
Yesterday, Reuters reported that Goldman was good to go with a crypto trading desk that will launch next week. According to the report, th digital asset team will sit within Goldman’s U.S. bank’s Global Markets division:
“The desk is part of Goldman’s activities within the fast-growing digital assets sector, which also includes projects involving blockchain technology and central bank digital currencies, the person said. As part of this work, the bank is also exploring the potential for a bitcoin exchange-traded fund and has issued a request for information to explore digital asset custody, the source said.”
Of course, the news arrives during a time of heightened awareness of Bitcoin specifically which recently hit all-time highs. More corporates are purchasing Bitcoin with Tesla headlining the chatter following the disclosure of a $1.5 billion purchase of BTC. It was recently reported that Kevin O’Leary, a well-known irascible investor who once called crypto garbage, is now allocating 3% to 5% of his overall portfolio to crypto. Like many investors, Bitcoin is being viewed, in part, as a hedge against looming inflation.
While Goldman launching a digital asset trading desk is not that big of news as they are just supplying a service that is in demand it is another stamp of approval from the traditional financial services sector.