Ex-Goldman Sachs President Predicts Global Cryptocurrency, Says It Won’t Be Bitcoin

Francisco Memoria
  • Former Goldman Sachs president Gary Cohn recently predicted we'll have a global cryptocurrency in the future, but asserted it won't be bitcoin.
  • He stated he isn't a believer in bitcoin, but is a believer in blockchain technology.
  • Goldman Sachs, his former employer, is set to open a bitcoin trading desk "in the next few weeks."

Former Goldman Sachs President Gary Cohn has recently claimed the world will one day have a global cryptocurrency, but he asserted bitcoin won’t be said currency. While speaking to CNBC’s Bob Pisani in a “Squawk on the Street” segment, he revealed he is “not a big believer in bitcoin.”

Cohn, however, noted he is a believer in blockchain technology, and notably stated that he thinks “we will have a global cryptocurrency at some point.” This global cryptocurrency, he implied, will be more advanced than bitcoin.

Specifically, said currency won’t be “based on mining costs and costs of electricity and things like that,” presumably referring to the energy-consuming mechanism various cryptocurrencies utilize to secure their networks.

Describing his vision of a future global cryptocurrency, Cohn said:

"It will be a more easily understood cryptocurrency. It will probably have some blockchain technology behind it, but it will be much more easily understood how it's created, how it moves and how people can use it."

Gary Cohn

As recently covered, Cohn’s former employer, Goldman Sachs, is set to launch a bitcoin trading desk “in the next few weeks.” While the financial institution plans on initially trading bitcoin futures with its own money, it hopes it will eventually be able to trade actual bitcoins.

During his interview with CNBC, Cohn was asked about Goldman Sachs’ decision to launch a bitcoin trading desk. He replied that they “can do whatever they want. They can do whatever’s in their shareholders’ best interest.”

Last month, the financial institution hired cryptocurrency trader Justin Schmidt to be its first head of digital asset markets, in Goldman’s securities division. Prominent institutional investors recently took an interest in bitcoin as last year the flagship cryptocurrency hit an all-time high of over $19,000.

As covered, bitcoin could be about to surge over 70 percent, according to Wall Street analyst Tom Lee, who recently argued historical data shows the cryptocurrency rises when the Consensus conference’s attendance rises as well. This year’s attendance hit a new high as 7,000 people are expected at the event.

BTC Now Below $8300, but Tom Lee Says ‘2020 Should Be Great for Bitcoin’

Siamak Masnavi

On Thursday (January 23), Thomas Lee, Co-Founder, Managing Partner, and the Head of Research at independent research boutique Fundstrat Global Advisors, while appearing as a guest on CNBC's post-market show "Fast Money", predicted that "2020 Should Be Great for Bitcoin" and explained why.

According to data from CryptoCompare, at press time (around 10:20 UTC on January 24), Bitcoin is trading at $8,273:

BTC-USD 24 Hour Chart on 24 Jan 2020.png

This is the first time that Bitcoin has traded below the $8,300 level since January 14, as you can see in the two-week BTC-USD price chart shown below:

BTC-USD 2 Week Chart on 24 Jan 2020.png

Since Bitcoin reached $9,151 at 01:00 (UTC) last Sunday (January 19), the BTC price has been steadily falling, perhaps in anticipation of the "traditional" slowdown in Bitcoin trading around the time of the Chinese New Year (which, this year, starts on 25 January 2020 and ends on 11 February 2021). This expected drop in Bitcoin trading volumes was something that Arthur Hayes, Co-Founder and CEO of crypto derivatives exchange BitMEX, predicted in a tweet he sent out yesterday:

However, Lee, does not seem concerned about the currently falling prices of Bitcoin and altcoins in the crypto market.

Lee, who was appearing on Fast Money to give his views on the stock, bond, and crypto markets, was asked by the shows's host, CNBC news anchor Brian Sullivan, if he was still bullish on Bitcoin.

Lee replied:

"Yeah, 2020 should be great for Bitcoin because you got number one the halvening happening -- the block reward for miners getting cut in half -- that's a good supply demand change. I think last year the White House killed the Bitcoin rally with their opposition, but with the presidential election cycle underway, it's not gonna be in the headlines, and that's bullish for Bitcoin. And then with geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, I think that's good for crypto... We're getting a lot more interest in it from our clients."

It is worth remembering that two weeks ago Lee tweeted about a report he had published on January 9 about the outlook for crypto in 2020. According to this report, there are three positive convergences/catalysts for Bitcoin in 2020:

  • Bitcoin halving/halvening (which is expected to take place around 12 May 2020).
  • Geopolitical tensions in the Middle East.
  • 2020 U.S. Presidential Election

Lee said at the time that the bottom line is that "financial markets tend to discount 1-3 months, and maybe 6 months (max)" and therefore the "highest probability is halvening not priced in."