The COO of Goldman Sachs says client demand for bitcoin is rising as the cryptocurrency flirts with record highs
"The pandemic has been a significant accelerant," John Waldron said, referring to the increased interest in bitcoin.
Goldman Sachs chief operating officer and bank president John Waldron on Wednesday said he has seen an increase in interest from his clients when it comes to investing in bitcoin.
"Client demand is rising," Waldron said in a Wolfe Virtual FinTech Forum. "We are regulated on what we can do. We continue to evaluate it...and engage on it."
The world's most popular cryptocurrency on Wednesday flirted with record highs, breaching the $1 trillion market capitalization for the third time and climbing back above the $57,000-level. It soared to a record high of $58,640 on February 21.
Waldron told Reuters that the bank can keep digital assets "but can't principle" them. The executive also said Goldman is discussing with regulators how banks can deal with digital assets moving forward.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission in December 2020 has sought public comment regarding the custody of digital assets.
The rise of retail traders accelerated in 2020 as more people stayed at home due to pandemic-related restrictions, which coincided with the increasing popularity of commission-free investing and easy-to-use mobile trading platforms such as Robinhood.
Goldman Sachs on March 1 that it had restarted its cryptocurrency trading desk amid a boom in bitcoin. The bank also announced it will start dealing bitcoin futures and non-deliverable forwards to keep up with the rapidly evolving digital assets sector.
"The pandemic has been a significant accelerant," Waldron said. "There is no question in our mind there will be more digital commerce … and (use of) digital money."
Apart from this, the price of bitcoin has recently been buoyed by speculation that the third round of stimulus checks will inject more
liquidity into cryptocurrencies.