Wall Street financial giant will begin trading Bitcoin futures for clients, rather than buying and selling actual cryptocurrency – though that may come later.
Goldman Sachs is apparently moving ahead with plans to set up what appears to be the first Bitcoin trading operation at a Wall Street bank, despite its own previous caution regarding the sector. Reports in The New York Times say that it is about to begin trading with clients in a variety of products that will be linked to the price of Bitcoin (BTC).
The report goes on to say that while the current plans it has in place do not involve it buying and selling actual BTC, it could well do so at a later date if it can “figure out how to deal with the additional risks associated with holding the virtual currency.”
Not least among these risks is holding large amounts of cryptocurrency without falling foul of the kind of hacks that have cost exchanges like CoinCheck and Mt.Gox so dearly in recent memory.
The Goldman operation will be run by recent appointee Justin Schmidt, who previously worked for financial institutions including WorldQuant LLC, LMR Partners and Seven Eight Capital.
The NYT article quotes Goldman exec Rana Yared as saying “I would not describe myself as a true believer who wakes up thinking Bitcoin will take over the world,” adding that, “For almost every person involved, there has been personal skepticism brought to the table.”
However, the article continues, Yared beleive that “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.’”
Thus soon, though no exact date has been set, Goldman will begin using its own money to trade Bitcoin futures contracts, alongside creating its own version of a future – what it calls a ‘non-deliverable forward’.