As the meteoric rise of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies continues at pace, investment banks are now getting in on the action. For Goldman Sachs, it is a return to a project that had been all but abandoned in the last two years.
The Wall Street lender is relaunching its cryptocurrency trading desk this month, overseen by its global markets division and the digital assets team. Mathew McDermott, the bank’s global head of digital assets based in London, stands at the helm.
The desk, first set up in 2018, will initially deal CME bitcoin futures and non-deliverable forwards for the bank’s institutional clients. Its second debut comes as bitcoin broke past $60,000 for the first time on 14 March, though it later faltered as the cryptocurrency’s omnipresent price volatility set in.
In time Goldman might also consider buying, selling and holding bitcoin, as its digital assets team is working on projects in enterprise blockchain, digital transactions, digital wallets and stablecoins. In a recent phone interview, McDermott told Fintech Files that the bank is paying close attention to Facebook-founded firm Diem (formerly Libra) and the ramifications it might have for Goldman’s business.
“We’re staying very close to that and really thinking about how that can potentially impact what we do as a firm, and how that impacts the landscape,” McDermott said.
On blockchain, Goldman is determined to stand out from its