Goldman Sachs will launch a bitcoin trading desk, the investment banking behemoth confirmed on Wednesday.
The New York Times reports that the banking firm, one of the largest financial institutions in the U.S, is preparing to begin using its own funds to sponsor a number of investment contracts tied to the bitcoin price and also hopes to eventually trade “physical bitcoins” directly.
The investment bank has been rumored to have been planning to set up a cryptocurrency trading desk since December of last year however executives claimed that those reports were false.
As recently as April 22 — when the major bank hired cryptocurrency trader Justin Schmidt — the investment bank claimed that it had “not reached a conclusion on the scope of our virtual asset offering.”
Nevertheless the bank has now confirmed that it will begin offering its clients a type of futures contract called a “non-deliverable forward” that will be linked to bitcoin, an asset which Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein called a “vehicle to perpetrate fraud” in November.
The bank received enough interest from hedge funds, endowments, and other institutional investors that its board of directors voted to approve the move that will see it become the first major U.S investment bank to use its own funds to trade cryptocurrencies and/or cryptocurrency derivatives.
“It resonates when a client says to us ‘I want to hold Bitcoin because I think it is an alternate store of value,’” a rep said.
Eventually, the big bank hopes to receive regulatory approval from the Federal Reserve and state-level authorities to initiate trading actual bitcoins (ironically referred to as “physical bitcoins”) a development that will certainly cement the flagship cryptocurrency’s status as a mainstream financial asset.
“It is not a new risk that we do not understand, It is simply a heightened risk that we need to be extra aware of here.” a rep told CryptoBuzz News Network.