Goldman Sachs Opens Crypto Trading Desk

Goldman Sachs Group Inc is setting up a trading desk to make markets in electronic currencies such as bitcoin, according to people with knowledge of this strategy. The bank aims to find the company running from the end of June, if not earlier, two of the people said. Another said it is still trying to work out security problems as well as how it would hold, or even secure, the resources.

Already, the bank is among just a couple of mainstream firms clearing a new breed of bitcoin futures offered by Cboe Global Markets Inc. and CME Group Inc.. Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp.

Goldman Sachs is currently assembling a group in New York. Though the bank has not made a decision where to house the desk, one possibility is that it will operate within the fixed-income, commodities and currencies units orderly trading feature, which conducts transactions electronically, two people said. Darren Cohen, at the firm's principal strategic investments category, is also looking at opportunities, another person said.

He tweeted in October that his company was looking at how to deal with bitcoin. In a Bloomberg Television interview last month, he also said his bank didn't require a bitcoin strategy yet since the digital currency remains just developing and volatile.

And when the bank began clearing futures earlier this month, it demanded that some customers set aside funds equal to the full value of their trade, individuals knowledgeable about the policy stated. The conservatism deterred some clients and led them to take their business elsewhere.

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