Goldman Sachs Revives Plan for Cryptocurrency Trading Desk

Goldman Sachs is restarting a plan for a cryptocurrency trading desk, a report says. The firm had shelved such a plan in 2018 due to regulatory concern.
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Goldman Sachs Group  (GS) - Get Report has reportedly restarted its cryptocurrency trading desk and will begin dealing bitcoin futures and non-deliverable forwards for clients from next month.

Shares of the New York investment-banking icon at last check were 3.7% higher at $329.92.

The team will sit within the U.S. bank’s Global Markets division, Reuters reported, citing a person familiar with the matter.

The desk is part of Goldman’s activities within the digital-assets sector, which also includes projects involving blockchain technology and central bank digital currencies.

The bank had originally planned to launch a crypto desk in 2017 but shelved those plans in 2018 due to regulatory concern.

The trading desk reboot comes as institutional interest is growing regarding bitcoin, which has more than quintupled over the past year.

Bitcoin  (BTC)  at last check was up 11% to $48,487. On Monday, a research report by Citi said that Bitcoin could one day “become the currency of choice for international trade.”

“Bitcoin’s future is thus still uncertain," the report said, "but developments in the near term are likely to prove decisive as the currency balances at the tipping point of mainstream acceptance or a speculative implosion.”

Separately, Reuters reported on Monday that China’s Inner Mongolia will end all cryptocurrency mining projects. It will stop reviewing new projects in industries that consume large amounts of energy, such as steel, coke and methanol production, as it attempts to meet energy efficiency targets.

The region accounted for 8% of bitcoin mining computing power worldwide.

Last month, electric-car maker Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Report said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it had purchased $1.5 billion of Bitcoin.

The world's largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization lost ground after Elon Musk, Tesla's founder and co-CEO, suggested that prices for bitcoin seemed high and market observers raised concern about that market overheating.