One of the largest investment banks in the world has just launched cryptocurrency trading, although executives have tried to point out that they only want to trade derivatives and don’t want real digital assets.
An internal Goldman Sachs memo was released in a CNBC report this morning announcing the launch of cryptocurrency trading. The office will be part of Goldman’s Global Currency and Emerging Markets division and will be overseen by Matthew McDermott, Head of Digital Assets.
The news comes shortly after yesterday’s announcement that Goldman began offering clients trading in BTC through non-delivery agents (NDFs), a derivative pegged to the bitcoin price. Observers note that this choice of derivatives reduces the risk of BTC impacting Goldman as connections are acquired and settlements are made in cash.
The note, written by Goldman partner Rajesh Venkataramani, indicated that the newly created trading floor will currently only trade with NDF, as well as “future CME BTC deals on a fundamental basis and all cash settlement.”
Venkataramani noted that the asset management giant “cannot trade bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies (including Ethereum) at the physical level,” and that they will carefully trade and offer clients access to assets other than bitcoin derivatives.
“Looking ahead, we continue to expand our market presence, albeit on a large scale, but selectively recruit new liquidity providers to help us expand our offerings,” he wrote.
Goldman maintains an ongoing relationship with cryptocurrencies. At the end of 2017, there were rumors that an asset management company was investigating the office (although they were also concerned about security), which some jokingly refer to as the main signal, although Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon in the whole of 2019 denied this a fairy tale.
Despite its cautious approach to trading, Goldman aggressively sought other ways to take advantage of blockchain technology. The company is participating in the recently announced $ 120 million Ethereum digital bond sale, and earlier this week it was involved in a $ 15 million boost for Coin Metrics, a digital intelligence startup.