Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is establishing a virtual asset trading desk as a result of the increase in Bitcoin prices, a Reuters report quoting people with knowledge of the matter said Tuesday.
The cryptocurrency was last trading at $49,021 in Asia after opening Tuesday at $48,945. The price of bitcoin has climbed almost 10% in the past 24 hours but the world's most sought-after virtual asset is still 20% lower than its peak of $51,600 Thursday.
The cryptocurrency desk is part of Goldman Sachs increasing involvement in the virtual assets sector - which includes blockchain technology and central bank digital currencies, the person said.
Goldman will start offering Bitcoin futures in addition to other products by middle of this month after backing out of a similar effort in 2018, the source, who requested anonymity because the plans have not been formally announced, said. A bank representative didn't provide further details.
The desk will be a part of Goldman's international markets segment, the financial institution's biggest unit in terms of assets and revenue at the end of 2020 and will function as a market-builder - acquiring and unloading securities on behalf of clients - but not actively engaged in overseeing cryptocurrency transactions.
Goldman is studying the potential for a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund and has issued a request for information to analyze cryptocurrency asset management, the person said.
Cryptocurrencies were once avoided at big banks like Goldman Sachs but is now gaining the trust of investors as other financial institutions show interest.
BNY Mellon said in the middle of last month that it will hold, transfer and issue cryptocurrencies, an initiative it called a first by a multinational bank. Mastercard has said it will allow cardholders to conduct transactions in digital currencies.