Goldman Sachs, one of the most prominent names in the financial sector, has gone on record saying that “bitcoin is not a fraud,” and have confirmed that they will launch bitcoin futures trading operation.
According to a report from the New York Times, the investment giant aims to become the first bitcoin trading operation in Wall Street. Goldman Sachs will use its own funds to offer a variety of bitcoin trading contracts to their clientele. The report says that after much discussion, the board of directors signed off on moving forward with bitcoin trading, planning to “create its own, more flexible version of a future, known as a non-deliverable forward, which it will offer to clients.”
Goldman Sachs says the move is in response to a growing number of requests from hedge funds and other institutional investors, inquiring about cryptocurrencies as an alternative asset and store of value. Rana Yared, Managing Director of Goldman Sachs’ Securities Division, helped put together the strategy, offered this reasoning behind their motivations:
"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.”
Despite pushing full steam ahead with the plan, Goldman Sachs executives remain skeptical of bitcoin. “I would not describe myself as a true believer who wakes up thinking Bitcoin will take over the world,” Yared said. “For almost every person involved, there has been personal skepticism brought to the table.”
For now, Goldman only plans to offer bitcoin related contracts, but is seeking regulatory approval from the Federal Reserve to trade actual bitcoin.
Previously, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein called bitcoin a “vehicle to perpetuate fraud.” However, news of Goldman Sachs can only further legitimatize bitcoin and cryptocurrency with institutional investors.