It seems that money does in fact talk: even digital money. The Wall Street Journal broke the news that blue chip banking giant Goldman Sachs is mulling allowing its investors to trade in Bitcoin directly.
The news would make Goldman the first leading Wall Street firm to allow its investors access to the rapidly growing cryptocurrency marketplace. Other firms have some products, like Grayscale’s platform (GBTC), but Goldman would open a whole new marketplace for investors. According to a spokesman for the company:
“In response to client interest in digital currencies we are exploring how best to serve them in this space.”
While the news may bring about a rapid legitimization of the cryptocurrency space, it will certainly open up Bitcoin and other crypto assets to increased scrutiny from government regulatory bodies.
Already the Federal Reserve has indicated that it is studying cryptocurrencies more in depth, and the SEC has filed regulatory rules regarding ICOs.
Goldman has faced substantial reduction in revenues (21 percent since last year) even in this year’s bull market for stocks, and it seems that the problem is related to volatility. The company has been unable to take advantage of panicked buys and sells within the stock market, and may be seeking a new source of volatility to allow its investors an opportunity to profit. According to the WSJ:
“Goldman, once known as the nimblest trader on Wall Street, has struggled more than peers. Revenue in its fixed-income division fell 21% from last year through June, dragged down by poor performance in commodities and currencies.”
Whether the increasing mainstream investor adoption is good for Bitcoin or not remains to be seen. Nevertheless, such attention does call into question the previous judgments of other bank leaders like Jamie Dimon.