As cryptocurrency prices took off towards the end of last year, banks and institutional investors were keeping their eyes peeled.
Most of the biggest names on Wall Street and in the City have now announced plans to offer their clients access to cryptocurrencies.
Some, however, have opted to lean away from the trend as environmental, social and governance concerns abound.
The value of cryptocurrencies has continued to swing wildly. Bitcoin was at one point close to doubling in value this year, as it reached an all-time high of $64,829. The token has since suffered a series of major falls to leave its 2021 gains at around 30%.
Here’s what we know so far about how the world’s biggest banks are engaging with cryptocurrencies, and who is staying out of the action.
Goldman’s cryptocurrency trading desk underwent somewhat of a resurrection this year. Having first launched the desk back in 2018, as crypto prices surged well past their previous bubble, it was time for the investment bank to get back in the game.
Helmed in London by the bank’s global head of digital assets Mathew McDermott, the desk is initially dealing CME bitcoin futures and non-deliverable forwards for institutional clients. It also provides clients with regular research and insights into the sector, while Goldman’s strategic investment unit is taking stakes in associated startups.