Goldman Sachs is currently exploring the possibility of launching a new trading operation that would be dedicated to trading bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, the Wall Street Journal reports.
While the plans are still in the early stages - and may not actually come to fruition - the Journal notes that as the first "blue-chip Wall Street firm" potentially dealing directly in digital currencies, it "could boost bitcoin’s standing among investors." That Goldman is even considering cryptocurrency trading right now is especially significant given the recent rebukes to bitcoin from JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon and Bridgwater Associates Dalio, who called the digital currency "a fraud" and "a bubble," respectfully.
While bitcoin, launched in 2009, earned an early reputation as the preferred currency for nefarious online transactions made on the Dark Web - most famously used on the Silk Road drug marketplace - cryptocurrencies are becoming increasingly mainstream among investors, which is making it "harder for Wall Street trading desks to ignore," the Journal notes.
Goldman seeks to serve a growing cadre of institutional investors wagering on bitcoin. Its effort could eventually entail a team of traders and salespeople making markets in bitcoins much as they do Japanese yen or AppleInc. shares.
Keeping abreast of the day-to-day cryptocurrency market could also position Goldman to capitalize on further development of this market. Digital-currency proponents envision a world where coins will be widely accepted by online retailers and companies will use the tokens for cross-border commerce.
Roughly 70 hedge funds now invest in cryptocurrencies, according to the Journal, citing data from research firm Autonomous NEXT.
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