Goldman Sachs CEO – Bitcoin Regulations May See Drastic Change
David Solomon, CEO of Goldman Sachs, has predicted a huge change in the manner in which the US government governs Bitcoins and in general cryptocurrencies, with respect to financial institutions. While speaking to CNBC, Solomon was queried on the big initiatives of the banking behemoth with regards to adoption of Bitcoin.
The CEO did not reveal anything extraordinary but stated that the bank is closely monitoring cryptocurrencies, against the backdrop of rising demand for cryptocurrency exposure from its customers.
“We continue to think about digital currency and the digitization of money in a very proactive way, and in that context, we are engaged with our clients and we look at all this through the centricity of ‘what do our clients need?’.”
The prevailing US prohibitions on financial institutions prevents them from providing straight forward exposure to highly volatile assets that carry a risky profile and Bitcoin is one among them. Because of such regulations, which regard cryptocurrency as an asset carrying high risk, financial institutions can only provide exposure to cryptocurrency in the form of custodial solutions for virtual assets, including ETFs.
Nevertheless, Solomon pointed out that the crypto domain is fast growing, and forecasts a change in the scenario over time, but do not wish to speculate on what that originally means:
“I think there will be a big evolution. As to how this evolves in the coming years, we operate in the rules we have, I’m not gonna speculate on where the rules will go for regulated financial institutions but we’re gonna continue to find ways to serve our clients as we move forward.”
"There are significant regulatory restrictions around us and us acting as a principle around cryptocurrencies like #bitcoin," says $GS CEO David Solomon. "As our clients have demand to be involved in this space we can continue to find ways to support our clients." pic.twitter.com/plRxHqmbsI
— Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) April 6, 2021
Last week, the bank stated that Goldman’s private wealth management unit is on course to provide Bitcoin exposure to bigger customers with liquid cash of $25 million or higher. A complete range of investment choices in Bitcoin and other cryptos is expected to be introduced in the second quarter of this year. Ex-SEC chairman Jay Clayton has recently pointed out that regulatory ecosystem around cryptocurrency is on the verge of undergoing a big change.
“Where digital assets land at the end of the day […] will be driven in part by regulation—both domestic and international—and I’m speaking as a citizen now, that regulation will come in this area both directly and indirectly whether it’s through how these are held at banks, security accounts, taxation, and the like. We will see this regulatory environment evolve.”
The crypto bull market this year has encouraged Goldman Sachs to reboot its cryptocurrency trading desk last month. The crypto trading desk was initially set up in 2017 when Bitcoin recorded a peak of $20,000 and then plunged sharply. The financial institution has also submitted an application with the SEC for launching an ETF (exchange traded fund) that will facilitate indirect exposure in Bitcoin on March 26.