While the rest of the world is gripped by cryptocurrency fever, Wall Street hasn’t been as quick to embrace Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc., but that’s starting to change. Multinational finance giant Goldman Sachs will reportedly be setting up a trading desk focused on digital currencies by the middle of 2018.
According to a report from Bloomberg, the plan is still in its early stages as the company looks to assemble a team in New York and decide where to house the desk. The bank is aiming to have it up and running by June next year.
“In response to client interest in digital currencies, we are exploring how best to serve them,” Goldman Sachs told Bloomberg in a statement.
The popularity of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin has exploded these past few months. Although it has dropped from a peak of almost $20,000 a few days ago to under $13,500 at the time of writing, Bitcoin was valued at around $8,260 just one month ago. CoinDesk reports that the virtual currency’s market capitalization now stands at $248 billion, which is more than Disney and Boeing.
Bitcoin's association with illegal practices, fluctuating price, and security risks have seen traditional institutional investors and Wall Street firms shy away from it and other cryptocurrencies. But popular exchange Coinbase opened a new platform for big money investors like hedge funds, family offices, and sovereign wealth funds last month. It comes with a $100,000 setup charge and $10 million minimum deposit.
In other Coinbase news, the company has announced that it will enable the buying and selling of Bitcoin Cash in early January. The hard fork of Bitcoin launched on the exchange earlier this week but trading was suspended when the price went up 50 percent, leading to suspicions of insider trading.