Goldman Sachs launches limited BTC derivatives trading desk

One of the most important funding banks on this planet simply launched a cryptocurrency trading desk — although executives made positive to specify they might solely be trading derivatives, and won’t have precise digital belongings on the books. 

A CNBC report this morning revealed a inside Goldman Sachs memo saying the launch of a cryptocurrency trading desk. The desk can be a part of Goldman’s Global Currencies and Emerging Markets division, and overseen by Digital Assets head Mathew McDermott.

The news comes shortly after a report yesterday that Goldman had begun offering BTC trading to clients via non-deliverable forwards (NDFs), a spinoff tied to the value of Bitcoin. Observers famous that this alternative of spinoff lessens Goldman’s threat of publicity to BTC as a result of the autos are purchased and settled in money.

The memo, written by Goldman accomplice Rajesh Venkataramani, famous that the newly-formed trading desk at present will solely commerce in NDFs, alongside “CME BTC future trades on a principal basis, all cash settling.”

Venkataramani famous that the asset administration large “is not in a position to trade bitcoin, or any cryptocurrency (including Ethereum) on a physical basis” and that they might be circumspect about trading and providing shoppers publicity to belongings other than Bitcoin derivatives.

“Looking ahead, as we continue to broaden our market presence, albeit in a measured way, we are selectively onboarding new liquidity providers to help us in expanding our offering,” he wrote.

Goldman has maintained a on-again, off-again relationship with cryptocurrencies. In late 2017 there have been rumors that the asset management firm was exploring a desk (although they had been involved with safety then, as nicely), a transfer that some jokingly seek advice from as a high sign — although in 2019 Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon refuted that story.

Despite the cautious entry into trading, Goldman has been aggressively pursuing different avenues to learn from blockchain technology. The agency is collaborating in a recently-announced $120 million digital bond sale on Ethereum, and earlier within the week participated in a $15 million raise for crypto intelligence startup Coin Metrics.