Goldman Sachs eyes up the Bitcoin market

Goldman Sachs eyes up the Bitcoin market

The president and chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs has noted a surge in interest in Bitcoin from the bank’s clients

The investment bank’s foray into the crypto sector is gradually becoming a matter of when and not if. This is according to the remarks of the multinational bank’s president John Waldron. Waldron acknowledged the uptrend in client interest towards Bitcoin yesterday, in a virtual event asserting that the bank was still studying the crypto asset.

“Client demand is rising. We are regulated on what we can do. We continue to evaluate it and engage on it,” he said during the Wolfe Virtual FinTech Forum.

The development comes on the back of a client survey on digital assets by the bank that revealed 40% of wealthy survey participants have exposure to digital assets. 54% of survey respondents further predicted that the BTC price could swing between $40,000 and $100,000.

In his opinion, the pandemic is responsible for the interest in the flagship cryptocurrency. Many retail traders hopped into the Bitcoin market in 2020 due to the imposed pandemic-related restrictions that limited movement.

“The pandemic has been a significant accelerant,” the bank’s president said. “There is no question in our mind there will be more digital commerce and (use of) digital money.”

The crypto asset rallied impressively at the end of last year, surpassing 2017’s previous all-time high. Bitcoin stayed the course in the first two months of this year, notching a record high above $58,000 in the third week of February.

Waldron, as per a Reuters story, stated that while the bank can provide custody services for digital assets, it “can’t principle” them.  Early last week, the investment bank announced the resumption of its cryptocurrency trading desk as a result of the recent positive activity in the bitcoin ecosystem.

In addition, the bank revealed it would start dealing bitcoin futures and non-deliverable forwards this week. Goldman Sachs explained that the move would help the bank stay abreast of the fast-growing digital assets sector.

The Reuters report also detailed that the bank was in talks with the Federal Reserve and regulators on how it (and other banks) can handle digital assets. Regulations around the crypto sector in the US remain murky, even as industry leaders and other crypto community members call for more clarity. A frequent concern so far is whether one can hold custody of digital assets under federal securities laws or if this is not permitted.

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