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Goldman Sachs announces a new crypto trading team in an internal memo

May 7, 2021, 20:39 IST
Business Insider
Goldman Sachs CEO, David Solomon.Reuters
  • Goldman Sachs has informed employees of a new cryptocurrency trading desk, the bank confirmed.
  • It is the first time the US bank has formally acknowledged involvement in crypto-trading.
  • The crypto team will report to Goldman partner, Rajesh Venkataramani.

Goldman Sachs formally announced the launch of its newly-formed cryptocurrency trading desk to markets employees, according to an internal memo obtained by Insider.

The team has successfully executed two types of bitcoin-linked trades - bitcoin non-deliverable futures and CME BTC futures, the bank said.

Members will report to Goldman partner Rajesh Venkataramani. It will function as part of the bank's global currencies and emerging markets trading team within a division led by the global head of digital assets, Mathew McDermott.

Goldman had been weighing plans to create a crypto trading desk as early as 2017, according to CNBC. Thursday's memo is the first time the US bank has formally acknowledged its involvement in the reported plans.

It plans to broaden its market presence by "selectively onboarding" crypto trading institutions to expand offerings, according to the memo.


CEO David Solomon said last month he expects a "big evolution" in the way bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are regulated in the United States. "I'm not going to speculate on where the rules will go for regulated financial institutions, but we're going to continue to find ways to serve our clients as we move forward," he told CNBC in an interview.

A copy of the internal memo obtained by Insider is seen below:

May 6, 2021
Formation of Cryptocurrency Trading Team
I am pleased to announce the formation of the firm's cryptocurrency trading team, which will be our centralized desk for managing cryptocurrency risk for our clients. The Crypto trading team will be a part of Global Currencies and Emerging Markets (GCEM), reporting to me, within the firm's Digital Assets effort led by Mathew McDermott.

As a part of our initial launch, we have successfully executed Bitcoin (BTC) NDFs and CME BTC future trades on a principal basis, all cash settling. Looking ahead, as we continue to broaden our market presence, albeit in a measured way, we are selectively onboarding new liquidity providers to help us in expanding our offering.

In addition, yesterday we launched our Digital Assets dashboard which provides daily and intraday cryptocurrency market data and news to our clients. We invite you to highlight the dashboard to your clients. For more information on trade approval and onboarding, contact the Digital Assets team.

Please note, the firm is not in a position to trade Bitcoin or any Crypto Currency (inc. Ethereum) on a physical basis.

Rajesh Venkataramani

CNBC first reported the bank's announcement.

Other large investment banks are also warming up to cryptocurrencies. JPMorgan, the largest US investment bank by assets, is actively working on offering a bitcoin fund to its private rich clients. Citi plans to launch crypto trading services after seeing surging interest from clients, according to the Financial Times.

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