Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs will soon help clients learn about and invest in Bitcoin. Mary Rich, the new global head of digital assets for the company’s Private Wealth Management division, broke the news on March 31 to CNBC. In the interview, Rich said Goldman Sachs plans to offer Bitcoin investments in Q2 of this year.
Financial firms as large and powerful as Goldman Sachs have avoided cryptocurrencies for much of their history. This announcement is the latest in a series of movements signifying a reversal of that trend. Wall Street is starting to recognize cryptocurrency’s potential.
A Full Spectrum of Investments
According to Rich, Goldman Sachs hopes to eventually offer a “full spectrum” of digital asset investments. What that entails or when that will happen remains unclear, but it could include Bitcoin derivatives or other cryptocurrencies. For now, though, the bank is focusing on Bitcoin itself.
Goldman Sachs won’t offer these investments to all clients, at least not at first. These services will be exclusive to the Private Wealth Management division, which serves clients with at least $25 million to invest. Holding non-traditional assets like Bitcoin could help these investors protect their wealth from inflation.
Despite these benefits, especially for wealthier clients, this move may come as a surprise to some. Goldman Sachs’ own CIO of Private Wealth Management has expressed skepticism about cryptocurrency in the past. As client demand for these investments has risen, it seems the company has changed its position on the matter.
A Broader Movement
Goldman Sachs isn’t the first notable financial institution to turn its eyes towards cryptocurrency. Rival Morgan Stanley announced it would allow clients to invest in Bitcoin earlier this year. Banks and investment firms aren’t the only companies embracing cryptocurrency, either.
Brands like PayPal and Visa now enable crypto transactions with Bitcoin and similar currencies. Tesla started accepting Bitcoin payments recently and has purchased $1.5 million in it. Other companies like Uber and MasterCard have similarly announced plans to accept Bitcoin transactions in the future.
Wall Street may be new to cryptocurrency, but Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley’s recent announcements aren’t isolated incidents. Over the past few years, there’s been a broad movement across multiple industries to embrace crypto. As more companies follow this trend, they instill confidence in others to do the same.
A Breakthrough Year for Bitcoin
Much of this movement has taken place within this past year. Bitcoin has been gaining traction among traditional investors for years, but it seems to be at a tipping point now. If current trends continue, 2021 could be the moment cryptocurrency gains the legitimacy early investors have been hoping for.
After a year as financially disruptive as 2020, non-traditional asset classes seem more appealing. Consequently, more investors have started purchasing Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, creating a growing market for companies to capitalize on. What was once a fringe movement is becoming a mainstream trend.
Many large financial institutions still have doubts about crypto, given its historical volatility. As key industry players like Goldman Sachs dip their toes in it, though, these attitudes could shift. If that happens across enough other companies, 2021 could be a breakthrough year for Bitcoin.
Bitcoin Becomes More Mainstream by the Day
It wasn’t so long ago that no company would even consider touching Bitcoin. But the currency’s popularity has skyrocketed in the past few years and shows no signs of stopping. In its relatively short history, Bitcoin has managed to break into the mainstream with impressive speed.
Goldman Sachs isn’t the first company to embrace Bitcoin, but it is one of the most notable. There are now two Wall Street giants providing crypto investment services to their clients, and more will likely do so before long. Bitcoin may soon be a staple among investors.
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