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Goldman Sachs Set to Jump Back Into Cryptocurrency Trading

Bloomberg logoBloomberg 3/1/2021 Matthew Leising
a close up of a logo: A bitcoin logo on the carpet of a bitcoin automated teller machine (ATM) kiosk in Barcelona, Spain, on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. Bitcoin climbed, aided by supportive comments from Ark Investment Management’s Cathie Wood and news that Square Inc. boosted its stake in the cryptocurrency. © Bloomberg A bitcoin logo on the carpet of a bitcoin automated teller machine (ATM) kiosk in Barcelona, Spain, on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. Bitcoin climbed, aided by supportive comments from Ark Investment Management’s Cathie Wood and news that Square Inc. boosted its stake in the cryptocurrency.

(Bloomberg) -- Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is restarting a trading desk for cryptocurrencies amid a surge in the value of Bitcoin, a person familiar with the effort said.

The Wall Street bank will begin offering Bitcoin futures among other products by mid-March after halting a similar effort started in 2018, according to the person, who asked to to be named because the plans haven’t been announced. A Goldman Sachs spokeswoman declined to comment.

Crypto was once shunned at elite firms like Goldman Sachs, but is now gaining credibility as other banks and financial institutions outline their efforts. BNY Mellon said in mid February that it will hold, transfer and issue digital currencies, a step it called the first by a global bank to provide clients with such services. Mastercard Inc. has also said it will allow cardholders to transact in cryptocurrencies on its network. The firm is “actively engaging” with central banks around the world on their plans to launch new digital currencies, it said last month.

Goldman’s restart comes as digital assets have skyrocketed over the last several months. Bitcoin has surged more than fivefold in the past year, with investors such as Paul Tudor Jones, Stan Druckenmiller and Elon Musk piling in. Musk’s Tesla Inc. announced a $1.5 billion purchase of the asset in February.

Two Bitcoin exchange-traded funds began trading in Canada last month, with the Purpose Bitcoin ETF selling almost $400 million in shares in its first two days.

Reuters reported the Goldman Sachs news earlier.

(Updates with BNY Mellon and Mastercard starting in third paragraph)

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