Speaking at an event, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein talked about Bitcoin in an optimistic light, saying that although he doesn’t own any, he can’t rule out the cryptocurrency having a future in the world of finance.
In other Goldman news, COO David Solomon has said that the firm is exploring alternative cryptocurrency trades beyond the Bitcoin futures that it currently handles.
Blankfein on Bitcoin
At The Economic Club of New York, Blankfein talked about the shift from gold to government-backed fiat currencies to highlight today’s shift towards the alternative payment methods that cryptocurrencies provide, as reported by CNBC.
“If you could go through that fiat currency where they say this is worth what it’s worth because I, the government, says it is, why couldn’t you have a consensus currency?” Blankfein said. He continued:
“And so it’s not for me, I don’t do it, I own no bitcoin. Goldman Sachs as far as I know… has no bitcoin, but if it does work out, I could give you the historical path why that could have happened.”
Compared to some of this peers, like JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, who notoriously called Bitcoin a ‘fraud’ last year, Blankfein is keeping his options open. Earlier this year, Goldman started a cryptocurrency trading desk. In April, the firm made its first crypto-related hire.
“I’m not in this school of saying… because it’s uncomfortable with me, because it’s unfamiliar, this can’t happen, that’s too arrogant,” Blankfein added.
His comments are representative of the fact that major players in traditional finance are beginning to see what crypto can offer — they’re refreshing too, as Blankfein is cautious of criticizing what he doesn’t (fully) understand, like Dimon did.
Goldman Taking Further Steps into Crypto
Goldman, one of the biggest U.S. investment banks, is exploring cryptocurrency trades beyond the publicly-traded derivatives that it already handles, according to COO David Solomon, reports Bloomberg.
Goldman already helps its clients deal in publicly-traded derivatives tied to Bitcoin — known as Bitcoin futures. Taking further steps into the world of crypto, the firm is currently developing its trading desk with aims to have it up and running by the end of the month, according to people with knowledge of the strategy.
“We are clearing some futures around Bitcoin, talking about doing some other activities there, but it’s going very cautiously,” Solomon told Bloomberg TV China. “We’re listening to our clients and trying to help our clients as they’re exploring those things too.”
In response to a question about digital currencies, Solomon said that Goldman Sachs must ;evolve its business and adapt to the environment.’ The COO, who is also president of the New York-based firm, is set to succeed Blankfein as CEO by the end of the year.
Increasingly in the past year, heads of the world’s largest finance firms have struggled to decide whether the almost $300 billion market for digital currencies is a profitable opportunity or a threat to the global financial system.
Despite hesitation from some, many advocates are still hopeful that digital coins could go fully mainstream. Earlier this month, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said he believes Bitcoin will one day become the single global payment method. In relation, in a recent interview with CNBC, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak said that he hopes Dorsey’s predictions are correct, saying:
“I buy into what Jack Dorsey says, not that I necessarily believe it’s going to happen, but because I want it to be that way, that is so pure thinking.”