Goldman Sachs Is Launching A Trading Desk For Cryptocurrencies 

Written by Staff

Goldman Sachs plans on launching a cryptocurrency trading desk that could be up and running by the end of June, making it the first large Wall Street firm to “make market” in cryptocurrencies, Bloomberg reported.

The investment bank said in early October it was considering starting a trading operation for bitcoin and other digital currencies.

Already, Goldman Sachs is one of the few major financial institutions offering some clients access to the new bitcoin futures that launched on the Cboe Futures Exchange and CME Group Inc. this month, CNBC reported. By comparison, Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. have taken a wait-and-see approach.

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon has in the past criticized bitcoin and digital currencies, warning that governments will close down bitcoin and cryptocurrencies if they get too big, CNBC reported. Dimon called cryptocurrencies a novelty, fraudulent and “worth nothing,” saying they are not a fiat currency formed by a government and backed by a central bank. However, Dimon said he admires the blockchain technology underpinning bitcoin.

Cryptocurrencies and their “wild price swings and surging values have captured the public’s imagination but given pause to established institutions,” Bloomberg reported.

“In response to client interest in digital currencies, we are exploring how best to serve them,” a Goldman spokesperson told CNBC in October.

Goldman is still trying to work out security issues such as how it will hold the assets, which are notoriously volatile and prone to hacks, another source told Bloomberg.

The bank hasn’t decided where to put the trading desk, but Goldman is assembling a team in New York, one of the people said. It may operate “within the fixed-income, currencies and commodities unit’s systematic trading function, which conducts transactions electronically, two people said. Darren Cohen, in the firm’s principal strategic investments group, is also looking at opportunities, another person said.”

Goldman Sachs
Illustration: Techcrunch

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