New Goldman Sachs CEO upbeat on Bitcoin

David Solomon, the incoming Goldman Sachs CEO, has expressed a more positive attitude to cryptocurrencies than his predecessor Lloyd Blankfein.

Solomon, who Goldman Sachs has confirmed will take over from Blankfein in October, said last month the investment bank is exploring the possibility of adding further Bitcoin and cryptocurrency services to its portfolio. Goldman Sachs already offers clients publicly-traded derivatives tied to Bitcoin, but Solomon argued it must “evolve its business and adapt to the environment”.

“We are clearing some futures around Bitcoin, talking about doing some other activities there, but it’s going very cautiously,” said Solomon in an interview with Bloomberg TV in China. “We’re listening to our clients and trying to help our clients as they’re exploring those things too.”

The current Chief Operating Officer’s stance is a welcome move from that of his predecessor. Blankfein, who headed Goldman Sachs for 12 years, has been criticised for being slow to adapt the business.

Last November, Blankfein stated it was too early for Goldman Sachs to need a Bitcoin strategy and that the digital currency did not strike him as an effective store of value. However, his interest in cryptocurrencies has subsequently increased, and he commented last month that it is “arrogant” to think cryptocurrencies will not be successful.

At the end of last year, it was revealed Goldman Sachs is setting up a trading desk to make markets in cryptocurrencies and intends to have the business running by the end of July. The bank confirmed it will begin offering its clients a type of futures contract called a non-deliverable forward that will be linked to Bitcoin.

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