US banking giant Goldman Sachs has put on hold its plans to open a cryptocurrency trading desk in the foreseeable future, Business Insider has reported, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter.
According to the sources, the Wall Street major is shelving the plans due to the unclear regulatory framework for crypto. While the company might revive the plans later, for the time being it’s focusing on other ways to enter the crypto market, the sources added.
The bank, which already makes markets for clients in Bitcoin futures, as well as contracts for difference (CFDs), is reportedly looking to launch a custody product for crypto, which would allow it to target institutional clients.
Goldman has not confirmed the report, although the bank issued an official statement.
“In response to client interest in various digital products, we are exploring how best to serve them in the space,” a company spokesman said, as quoted by Business Insider. "At this point, we have not reached a conclusion on the scope of our digital asset offering.”
The report appears to be the main reason behind the sharp decline observed across the cryptocurrency market earlier today. Most digital currencies saw heavy losses in late morning and early afternoon trading, which led to as much as $17 billion being wiped off the total crypto market cap. Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and EOS have been among the biggest losers in the cryptocurrency top 10. Meanwhile, the No. 1 digital currency, Bitcoin (BTC), briefly dropped below the psychological level of $7,000 following the report.
As of 16:09 BST, the Bitcoin price stood at $7,030.22, down 4.6% from the same time yesterday. The digital coin’s total market cap currently stands at $121.7 billion, which represents 54.2% of the total value of all digital currencies.
For further information on how to buy and trade Bitcoin, see our comprehensive Bitcoin guide.