Goldman Sachs Drops Plan to Open Bitcoin Trading Desk, for Now

  • Goldman Sachs has reportedly dropped its plan of opening a bitcoin trading desk, for now.
  • Unnamed sources cited regulatory uncertainty for the Wall Street giant's decision.

Goldman Sachs has reportedly dropped its plan of opening a bitcoin trading desk, at least in the near future, moving it down the list of products it’s set to offer in the cryptocurrency markets. The move comes as bitcoin dropped over 5% in about 90 minutes.

According to a report published by Business Insider, the Wall Street giant has decided to downgrade its plans over the cryptocurrency space’s regulatory landscape. The news outlet’s report, citing sources familiar with the manner, noted Goldman Sachs’ bitcoin trading desk plans may be later on revived.

The company will, for now, focus on developing other projects like its crypto custody service, which could see the bank hold cryptocurrency and even track price changes on behalf of large institutional clients.

Goldman Sachs itself had been taking baby steps to enter the cryptocurrency space and launch its bitcoin trading desk. Back in October of 2017, reports suggested it was studying cryptocurrencies through with a group of employees, and in December it was claimed a bitcoin trading desk would be ready in June.

In April of this year, as CryptoGlobe reported, the Wall Street firm hired crypto trader Justin Schmidt as its head of digital asset markets. In May, the NYTimes reported Goldman Sachs was waiting for regulatory approval while figuring out how to deal with holding cryptocurrencies in a safe way.

At the time, Business Insider notes, Schmidt was considering trading bitcoin and not just derivatives, if Goldman Sachs managed to get regulatory approval. The outlet’s unnamed sources claim it now ran into a “regulatory roadblock,” without adding more details.

Its report suggests the bank was looking for regulatory developments that haven’t yet materialized. These would likely help protect the bank from the risks associated with trading and holding cryptocurrencies.

Various analysts believe Goldman Sachs’ move is behind bitcoin’s $400 drop that saw it dip below the $7,000 mark. Speaking to Bloomberg Mati Greenspan, a senior market analyst at eToro, stated:

The expectation of adoption by Wall Street has been a major theme for the cryptocurrency market for the last year, so any kind of updates on that can certainly move the prices. Even if it’s not true, it should be enough to cause a minor selloff like this in cryptocurrencies.

Mati Greenspan

Goldman Sachs is notably still moving forward with its crypto custody service. This means it’ll be competing with the likes of Coinbase and BitGo. Other major Wall Street firms, including JP Morgan and Fidelity, are said to exploring similar products.

Satoshi Nakamoto's Original Bitcoin Website Is Changing Hands

Francisco Memoria

Bitcoin.org, the website originally registered by Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto and developer Martii Malmi, may soon change hands again as one of its co-owners revealed he is reducing his involvement with it.

According to a GitHub post Cobra Bitcoin, the pseudonymous co-owner of Bitcoin.org, is going to gradually reduce his involvement with the website and will leave it “in trusted hands.” In the post he noted that h has a few people in mind, but either way asked for individuals or organizations that could be a good fit to maintain the Bitcoin.org platform, which onboards new users who search for “bitcoin” in search engines.

Cobra Bitcoin, who has been widely criticized in the cryptocurrency community for proposing changes to Satoshi Nakamoto’s original Bitcoin whitepaper, noted that he hopes his successors won’t get caught up in conflicts within the community as he did, and added:

Bitcoin.org really is an amazing resource, and we need to continue working on it and keep improving it. With Bitcoin being as complicated as it is for new people to understand, sites like Bitcoin.org are key to getting more mainstream adoption. Especially in avoiding getting Bitcoin labelled as some get rich quick scheme.

When discussing with other users who would be given control of the Bitcoin.org website, Cobra Bitcoin revealed that some obvious names are already under consideration: those of the contributors already helping maintain the website. These include Will Binns and Craig Watkins.

While the website was originally registered and owned by Satoshi Nakamoto and Martti Malmi, when Satoshi left the project he gave ownership of the domain to additional people separate from Bitcoin’s developers, to stop BTC from being controlled by one single person.

Cobra Bitcoin, it’s worth noting, has also argued that the cryptocurrency community failed to show sovereign money to people as governments throughout the world started engaging in quantitative easing,  and argued against bitcoin’s safe have status.

Featured image via Bitcoin.org.