Goldman Sachs is expected to offer a bitcoin report to its customers very soon, according to the news agency CNBC. “We are working and we are very close to providing a safe and secure exposure to the cryptocurrency ecosystem to our affluent customers,” said Mary Ritz, head of digital asset at US Bank of America.
Wall Street banks are changing their policy on cryptocurrencies
As Bitcoin is now over 11 years old, there are very few things you can actually buy, at the same time that the volatility it presents is a big risk.
Three years ago, Goldman Sachs hired a cryptocurrency trader to provide guidance, aimed at familiarising the bank’s people with the purchase of digital assets, as well as its customers. However, it then downgraded Bitcoin as an asset.
Goldman Sachs plans to start offering digital asset exposure in the second quarter of 2021 as it looks at a “full range” of such investments “either through physical Bitcoin or through derivatives,” Rich told CNBC.
The move means that soon, customers of two of the world’s top investment banks – Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley – will have access to an emerging asset class. Earlier this month, Morgan Stanley told its financial advisers that they could invest in bitcoin from April. So far, major US banks have largely avoided bitcoin, believing it to remain speculative and volatile. But after its recent rise in price, the idea of placement by institutional investors, companies and fintech players has matured.
“There is a group of customers who are looking for this asset as a hedge against inflation and last year’s scenario has certainly played a role in that,” Rich said.
“There is also a large group of customers who feel they are at the beginning of a new Internet and are looking for ways to get involved in this space.”
What JP Morgan states
According to data compiled by JPMorgan, private investors had bought more than 187.000 Bitcoins by mid-March this quarter, up from about 205.000 in the last quarter. Institutional investors have bought about 173.000 of the world’s largest cryptocurrencies during this period, up from nearly 307.000 in the last three months of 2020.
So, it seems that the big banks are slowly adopting the idea that their customers could use Bitcoin to diversify their portfolios.