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Goldman Sachs eschews bitcoin but wants to help clients crypto-trade: CEO

The bank will trade in bitcoin if it becomes more established, he added

Reuters  |  New York 

Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein
Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein. Photo: Reuters

Group Inc is trying to figure out how to cater to investors who want to trade even though the currency remains too volatile for the to trade itself, according to comments by a representative and its chief executive officer on Thursday.

At an event, CEO said there was no imminent need for to develop a strategy around bitcoin, which rose to an all-time high of $11,395 on Wednesday only to lose one-fifth of its value on Thursday.

"Something that moves up and down 20 per cent in a day doesn't feel like a currency, doesn't feel like a store of value," Blankfein said at an event hosted by Bloomberg to promote Goldman's 10,000 Small Businesses endeavour.

The will trade in if it becomes more established, trades in a less volatile manner and has more liquidity, he said.

Even so, has been looking at ways to facilitate trades for customers. It is still doing so, spokeswoman Tiffany Galvin told Reuters in a statement.

"In response to client interest in currencies, we are exploring how best to serve them in the space," she said.

Established in 2009 as a currency not backed or regulated by governments, was mainly supported by technology enthusiasts at first. Its reputation was marred by hacks that lost investors billions of dollars, and by those who allegedly used the currency to mask illicit dealings.

But as its price has soared, traditional investors have entered the market, and major exchanges plan to introduce futures contracts. The technology that underpins trading, called blockchain, has also become popular among large financial institutions that see it as a mechanism to more cheaply and efficiently handle other transactions.

Prominent executives and US officials have been split on whether currencies themselves are worth spending time and money on.

JPMorgan Chase & Co CEO Jamie Dimon called a "fraud" at a conference in early September, while Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman characterized it as "more than just a fad" at an event a few weeks later.

Meanwhile, Citigroup Inc CEO Michael Corbat predicted governments will issue currencies of their own, something a U.S. Federal Reserve official said the central is considering at an event on Wednesday. The following day, another Fed official called a threat to the financial system.

First Published: Fri, December 01 2017. 00:20 IST