The investment bank’s foray into the crypto sector is gradually becoming a question of “when” rather than “if.” This is according to remarks made by the multinational bank’s president, John Waldron. Waldron confirmed rising client interest toward bitcoin in a virtual event yesterday, claiming the bank is still exploring the crypto asset.
“Customer demand is increasing. We are regulated on what we can do. We continue to evaluate it and engage in it,” he said during the Wolfe Virtual FinTech Forum.
The development is based on the bank’s customer survey on digital assets, which showed that 40% of high-net-worth survey respondents have access to digital assets. 54% of respondents also predicted that the BTC price could fluctuate between $40,000 and $100,000.
In his opinion, the pandemic is responsible for the interest in the flagship cryptocurrency. Many individual traders entered the bitcoin market in 2020 due to the imposed pandemic-related restrictions on movement.
“The pandemic has accelerated the acceleration significantly,” the bank’s president said. “Unquestionably, there will be more digital trading and (use of) digital money.”
The crypto asset surged impressively late last year, surpassing its previous all-time high of 2017, and bitcoin remained on track through the first two months of this year, hitting a record high of more than $58,000 in the third week of February.
According to a Reuters story, Waldron said the bank could provide custody services for digital assets but could not “principle” them. Earlier last week, the investment bank announced its cryptocurrency trading desk resumption due to recent positive activity in the bitcoin ecosystem.
Complementing that, the bank said it would begin trading bitcoin futures and non-deliverable forwards starting this week. Goldman Sachs said the move would help the bank keep up with the fast-growing digital assets sector.
The Reuters report also detailed that the bank was talking to the Federal Reserve and regulators about how it (and other banks) can deal with digital assets. Regulations around the crypto sector in the U.S. remain murky, although industry leaders and other crypto community members are calling for more clarity. Concerns to date have centered on whether digital assets can be held in custody under federal securities law or whether doing so is illegal.