So just a few weeks after Jamie Dimon declared Bitcoin a “fraud” that’s destined to end in all kinds of tears for everyone involved after the government inevitably steps in and shuts the whole thing down, an “opinion” which was met not only with a plunge in Bitcoin itself, but with all manner of tomato throwing from the crypto peanut gallery, WSJ is out reporting that Goldman is about to enter the fray.
“Goldman Sachs is weighing a new trading operation dedicated to bitcoin and other digital currencies, the first blue-chip Wall Street firm preparing to deal directly in this burgeoning yet controversial market,” the Journal writes, in an article that just hit. “Goldman’s effort is in its early stages and may not proceed,” the Journal adds, citing the ubiquitous “people familiar with the matter”.
It goes without saying (or at least it should), that were Goldman to move ahead with this, it would serve as a powerful offset to the anti-crypto sentiment implicit in the China crackdown.
Apparently, Goldman’s effort will include its FX trading unit and its strategic investment group which, the Journal’s sources contend, “suggests the firm believes bitcoin’s future is more as a payment method rather than a store of value, like gold.”
“In response to client interest in digital currencies we are exploring how best to serve them in this space,” a Goldman spokeswoman said.
And that right there is the real motivation. Goldman is going to try and prove that they’re still “the smartest guys in the room” (and not in that Enron kind of way) by being first to the party and making a fortune at a time when the bank’s commodities business is in turmoil and its FI business is similarly struggling.
More to come.