The chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein, has denied speculation that the investment bank was planning to set up its own Bitcoin trading desk in 2018.
Bloomberg and other media outlets reported last month that Goldman was aiming to launch the new operation by the end of the first half of 2018. The company was in the process of working out security issues, as well as how it would hold, or custody, the assets, Bloomberg said at the time, citing unnamed sources, familiar with the matter.
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However, Blankfein yesterday told CNBC that these reports were “not true”.
“What we said was we were opening – we, we’re clearing futures in bitcoins for some of our futures clients. We’d clear them. We’re a prime broker and so if our clients are going to do it, we’re going to do it. A principle bitcoin business where we’re going long and short, market making, so far we’re not,” Blankfein in an interview with CNBC.
Reflecting on Blankfein’s comments, CNBC’s Jim Cramer argued that the underlying message was that Goldman was willing to work with clients interested in Bitcoin.
“[Blankfein] said customers who want to be involved with bitcoin … we will do business” with on some level, Crammer said on CNBC’s TV programme “Squawk on the Street”.
The comments came a day after Goldman said in its annual outlook report that Bitcoin had entered bubble territory. The bank’s analysts said that Bitcoin had not yet achieved its goal to disrupt the existing financial system, highlighting issues such as slow transaction speeds and high transaction costs.
In today’s trading, the Bitcoin price stood at $11,470.20, as of 10:40 GMT. The cryptocurrency has gained 3.7% in the past 24 hours, according to Coinmarketcap.