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Goldman Sachs to open bitcoin trading desk as it wades into crypto world

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Investment banking giant Goldman Sachs is set to launch a bitcoin trading desk – a first for a major Wall Street bank.

“In response to client interest in various digital products, we are exploring how best to serve them in the space," a Goldman Sachs spokesperson said.

Goldman will not initially buy or sell actual bitcoins, but it will trade with clients in a variety of contracts linked to the volatile digital currency's price, the New York Times first reported.

Matthew Newton, an analyst at eToro said: “This shouldnt come as a huge surprise to anyone who has been paying attention to cryptocurrencies over the last 18 months. Any forward-looking financial institution needs to understand this technology and accept its enormous potential.

“It will still take time for institutional investors to fully come around – and the fact that Goldman wont be buying or selling actual coins suggest some scepticism remains – but theres a growing acceptance that these assets are here to stay," Newton said.

Last month, the bank hired a new head of digital assets, Justin Schmidt, as it grappled with how to answer client demand for cryptocurrencies.

Read more: Goldman Sachs profits smash expectations thanks to first-quarter volatility

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