Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein “Still Thinking” About Bitcoin
Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein says he is “still thinking about Bitcoin” but has not yet reached a point where he is ready to endorse or reject it.
Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Goldman Sachs was considering becoming the first blue-chip Wall Street investment bank to launch a dedicated bitcoin trading operation. This report sparked many discussions in the mainstream financial sector, and this morning Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein shared his thoughts about Bitcoin on Twitter.
Blankfein, who is notorious for rarely engaging on the social media platform, used his 18th tweet to share that he is “still thinking about Bitcoin,” adding that “folks…were skeptical when paper money displaced gold.”
Blankfein’s tone toward cryptocurrency is markedly different than that of J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon, who lambasted bitcoin as a “fraud” that is “worth nothing.” He also threatened to fire any employee caught trading bitcoin. On Tuesday, senior J.P. Morgan senior executive John Normand struck a slightly-more-conciliatory tone, calling cryptocurrency a “retail novelty” analogous to “airline miles,” but the company’s public statements have made it clear that the firm is not impressed by this innovative technology.
Several leaders within the cryptocurrency industry responded to Blankfein’s tweet, offering to provide him with an off-the-record introduction to bitcoin. Chainstone Labs CEO Bruce Fenton, for instance, stated that “The new doesn’t need to destroy the old–we can work together for a better world for all of us.”
As CCN has reported, Goldman Sachs has responded to client interest in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies by adding services such as bitcoin price technical analysis, and a company spokeswoman told the Journal that they continue to actively explore ways to serve their clients within this space.
While it remains to be seen whether Goldman Sachs will ultimately launch a bitcoin trading operation, it is likely the firm will continue to increase its activity within the crypto finance ecosystem. As a Goldman analyst commented in a note distributed to portfolio managers earlier this year, “real dollars are at work” within the industry, making it “harder for institutional investors to ignore cryptocurrencies.”