Investment banking giant Goldman Sachs is set to launch a bitcoin trading desk – a first for a major Wall Street bank.
“In response to client interest in various digital products, we are exploring how best to serve them in the space,” a Goldman Sachs spokesperson said.
Goldman will not initially buy or sell actual bitcoins, but it will trade with clients in a variety of contracts linked to the volatile digital currency’s price, the New York Times first reported.
Matthew Newton, an analyst at eToro said: “This shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to anyone who has been paying attention to cryptocurrencies over the last 18 months. Any forward-looking financial institution needs to understand this technology and accept its enormous potential.
“It will still take time for institutional investors to fully come around – and the fact that Goldman won’t be buying or selling actual coins suggest some scepticism remains – but there’s a growing acceptance that these assets are here to stay,” Newton said.
Last month, the bank hired a new head of digital assets, Justin Schmidt, as it grappled with how to answer client demand for cryptocurrencies.
Read more: Goldman Sachs profits smash expectations thanks to first-quarter volatility