In early May 2018, Goldman Sachs confirmed plans to launch a Bitcoin futures trading desks to meet client demand. With cryptocurrency gaining traction in the investor community, one of the largest U.S. investment firms is now considering expanding its cryptocurrency division beyond Bitcoin futures.
Goldman Sachs COO: ‘Evolve and Adapt’
Initially reluctant to join the cryptocurrency sector, Goldman Sachs experienced a shift in sentiment as investor attention grew more prevalent. The investment bank is now looking to expand its Bitcoin futures trading desk into services for direct cryptocurrency trades.
On June 20, Goldman Sachs COO David Solomon told Bloomberg:
“We are clearing some futures around Bitcoin, talking about doing some other activities there, but it’s going very cautiously. We’re listening to our clients and trying to help our clients as they’re exploring those things too.”
Despite a recent downturn in the cryptocurrency markets, institutional investor attention is at an all-time high. It’s becoming clear that the demand by investors is forcing financial firms to keep up with the nascent markets.
Adding to his statement, Solomon told Bloomberg that the firm must “evolve its business and adapt to the environment.”
Catching Up to Smaller Firms
Smaller financial firms have already taken advantage of rising investor interest in cryptocurrency, using their position as the few firms that support cryptocurrency-related business as a vehicle for rapid growth.
Launching their services in 2017, Silvergate Bank and Metropolitan Bank are two of the earliest financial firms in the U.S. to process transactions in cryptocurrency and accrue major clients, such as Kraken, Coinbase, and BitFlyer.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, CEO of Metropolitan Bank Mark DeFazio stated:
“We noticed a long time ago that the payments world was changing.”
Goldman Sachs’ industry-forward outlook on institutional cryptocurrency trading marks an impending movement by the financial industry to look beyond its roots and embrace the emerging digital asset class.