Investment in cryptocurrencies has gained momentum and Goldman Sachs has taken note of the new trend and is now exploring ways to help its clients to easily invest in crypto.
According to Tearsheet, a finance industry news site, the wall Street giant has hired Justin Schmidt, a former crypto trader, to head the digital asset market unit in Goldman’s securities division. The paper reports that Schmidt started his role on Monday, April 16th. He was previously a senior VP at Seven Eight Capital and portfolio manager at LMR Partners.
There has been widespread speculation about the bank’s plans to offer crypto-related services since December after Bloomberg reported that they were about to launch a crypto trading desk. Several crypto media outlets have tried to debunk the story, reporting that the bank already has one. However, they have always refuted these stories.
Goldman Sachs spokeswoman Tiffany Galvin-Cohen said in a statement,
In response to client interest in various digital products, we are exploring how best to serve them in the space, at this point, we have not reached a conclusion on the scope of our digital asset offering,
A Step Ahead of its Peers
Goldman is known to be among the most innovative banks in the world. It was one of a few major financial institutions to begin clearing the CME and Cboe Bitcoin futures for clients when the derivatives products launched in December.
It’s thus telling that a bank with a reputation for being one step ahead of its peers, is putting money and resources into someone dedicated to helping it explore the range of options it has, to help clients play with crypto if they want to.
Galvin confirmed that the bank acts in an agent-only capacity, serving as a middleman to allow clients to get access to crypto on the exchanges by placing an order with Goldman Sachs, a member of the exchanges. It is not active on any cryptocurrency exchanges.
Goldman Sachs has hired Justin Schmidt as the head of the digital assets markets to help the bank explore the possibility of creating a crypto trading desk.
Goldman is not the only major bank to explore the prospects of starting a crypto trading wing. According to Tearsheet, last week Barclays UK said that it’s similarly monitoring developments in the cryptocurrency space and gauging clients’ interest in the bank launching a crypto trading desk, but that it has no concrete plans to do so as yet.
It is expected that more banks will begin exploring the possibility of giving their clients access to crypto trading as the industry gets more clarity from regulators. As many people get involved in crypto trading, it is expected that banks will come up with products to help their customers trade easily.
Do you think Goldman Sachs is in the process of establishing a crypto trading unit? Let us know in the comments sections.