Emerging regulations and increasing investor interest have drawn Wall Street into the cryptocurrency sector. With a custody offering still in the works, investment bank Goldman Sachs is holding off on launching a Bitcoin trading desk.
Direct Institutional Crypto Trading on Hold
Hinting at it earlier this summer, Goldman Sachs executives have confirmed that it is postponing the launch of a Bitcoin trading desk due to regulatory uncertainty, according to Business Insider.
In early May, Justin Schmidt, head of digital assets markets at Goldman Sachs, told The New York Times that the firm would trade Bitcoin if it could gain regulatory approval from the Federal Reserve and New York authorities. Since then, the investment bank assessed the global market and governing conditions–ultimately deciding that the cryptocurrency sector is still too immature for institutional entrance.
While the firm may have delayed a Bitcoin trading desk, Goldman Sachs already offers Bitcoin futures trading for clients and is currently developing a custodial solution.
According to Business Insider, a spokesperson for Goldman Sachs said:
“In response to client interest in various digital products, we are exploring how best to serve them in the space. At this point, we have not reached a conclusion on the scope of our digital asset offering.”
The custodial service means Goldman Sachs would hold cryptocurrencies on behalf of funds and investors, providing a safeguard for client capital from hacking and cybertheft.
If enacted, Goldman Sachs would become the first major investment bank to back cryptocurrency funds–potentially drawing an influx of institutional capital to the sector.
According to Bloomberg, the launch of a custody operation could further lead to institutional solutions for cryptocurrency investment, such as prime-brokerage services.
The launch date of Goldman Sachs’ custody offering has not yet been disclosed.
Goldman Sachs is not the only firm competing to become a leading cryptocurrency custody service provider. San Francisco-based startup Coinbase already launched its own custodial service for institutional investors, called Coinbase Custody, on July 2.
Cover Photo by Chaney Zimmerman on Unsplash