Goldman sachs and bitcoin: a sulfury relationship :


The American investment bank Goldman Sachs looks closely at the evolution of bitcoin. On the other hand, it is still far from being a key player in the sector.
Goldman Sachs is often given important ambitions in bitcoin. It must be said that the picture is almost perfect: the most controversial investment bank in history that would invest in the asset with the most sulphurous reputation. Catchy, right? This beautiful image (at least for the media) is however more nuanced than that. Yes, Goldman Sachs is one of the least "crypto-skeptic" banks on Wall Street. Yes, he has made investments in this industry. On the other hand, the group led by Lloyd Blankfein is still far from going headlong into the BTC (the symbol of bitcoin). His interests are manifested primarily with participation in the start-up Circle.

Goldman Sachs acquired part of it during a fundraising event organized in 2015 alongside other investors. We do not know its amount, but the merchant bank has played an important role in the operation without, however, taking majority control. Circle is known for its application that converts bitcoins into dollars, but also for its trading platform reserved for large investors. The company has been in the spotlight since Monday, February 26 and the announcement of its acquisition of Poloniex, the fourteenth largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world. The transaction amounts to $ 400 million and installs Circle in the American elite of the sector. Many saw the hand of Goldmans Sachs and announced that Circle was a "subsidiary" of the bank, which would pave the way for a rapid standardization of bitcoin. Incorrect reasoning: there is still some way to go before Goldman takes up the cause of cryptocurrency.

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When Bloomberg raises the question to Llyod Blankfein, the big boss of the American bank since 2006, this one is very measured. "Something that fluctuates by 20% in one day can not be considered a currency or a store of value," he explained last November, as the bitcoin began a historic breakthrough (it climbed up to $ 20,000 mid -December and worth today about half as much). Lloyd Blankfein also says of this asset that it is a "means of committing fraud". A comment finally similar to the opinion of the other bosses of American banks like Jamie Dimon (JP Morgan). On the other hand, Llyod Blankfein is distinguished by its pragmatism: "If one day the bitcoin becomes more established, exchanges like a true store of value, does not fluctuate as much, if there is liquidity, then we will arrive".

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For the boss of the institution born in 1869, there is no rushing. At the end of January, he denied information that Goldman Sachs was preparing to set up a team dedicated to bitcoin trading. The bank is currently happy to sell futures contracts indexed on the price of cryptocurrency, as is the case for many New York institutions. Futures do not involve a purchase of bitcoins, they involve speculating up or down on the price. "We are a leading broker, and if our customers demand these products, then we provide them," Llyod Blankfein said simply.

To understand the bitcoin strategy of Goldman Sachs, it is important to understand that the bank does not close any doors. In its results at the end of October, revenues generated by its traders have declined further due to a difficult environment in the financial markets. The era of easy money, enabled by the accommodating policies of central banks, is now over. Investment banks are looking for new opportunities in a less obvious context. Goldman Sachs, whose reputation on trading activities is well established, could then continue to increase its interest in cryptocurrencies ...
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