Goldman Sachs has had its feelers in the cryptocurrency waters for a while. Now, the Wall Street giant looks set to take the plunge, having just hired a cryptocurrency trader to help the company expand into digital asset markets.
High Profile Hire
With Bitcoin looking rather bullish once more, Goldman Sachs is getting serious about cryptocurrency.
Goldman Sachs has hired former trader Justin Schmidt to head the multinational investment bank’s and financial services company’s digital asset markets in Goldman’s securities division, as reported by Tearsheet.
Schmidt, who assumed the position on April 16, previously served as both a senior VP at Seven Eight Capital and portfolio manager at LMR Partners.
Institutional Investment Inbound
The new addition to Goldman Sach’s team represents the dramatic increase in institutional interest towards Bitcoin over recent months.
Reports first surfaced regarding the Wall Street giant’s plans to launch a cryptocurrency trading desk in December, though the financial institution has repeatedly denied the claims.
Goldman Sach’s did, however, help fund peer-to-peer payments technology company Circle in 2015. As reported by Bitcoinist yesterday, the Goldman-funded company recently doubled the size of its minimum cryptocurrency trade requirements from $250,000 to $500,000 — citing the fact that “the market is robust.”
Indeed, the cryptocurrency market’s purported robustness has increased interest from high-net-worth clients at high-profile investment banks. Said Goldman Sach’s spokeswoman Tiffany Galvin-Cohen:
In response to client interest in various digital products, we are exploring how best to serve them in the space. At this point, we have not reached a conclusion on the scope of our digital asset offering.
Singing a different song
Of course, Goldman hasn’t always been particularly bullish on Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general.
The financial behemoth’s head of global investment research Steve Strongin pronounced the eventual death of all but “a handful” of cryptocurrencies in February — stating that “most, if not all, will never see their recent peaks again.”
Later, in March, Goldman Sachs analysts panicked forecasted a bearish return to recent lows below $6000 for Bitcoin. That prediction did not pan out, and such a return is looking less and less likely with each day — as evidenced by the company’s increased interest.
What do you think about Goldman Sach’s latest hire? How high do you think institutional investment will push the value of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in the future? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of AP, Bitcoinist archives, Shutterstock