(Bloomberg) — Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is close to offering investment vehicles for Bitcoin and other digital assets to clients of its private wealth management unit.
″We are working closely with teams across the firm to explore ways to offer thoughtful and appropriate access to the ecosystem for private wealth clients, and that is something we expect to offer in the near-term,” Mary Rich, who was recently named global head of digital assets for the unit, said in an interview with CNBC.
Wall Street banks have largely shied away from cryptocurrencies. While Bitcoin is now more than 11 years old, there are very few things it can actually buy, and volatility is a major risk. Three years ago, Goldman hired a crypto trader to help lead digital-asset markets, with a goal of familiarizing people in the company as well as clients with cryptocurrencies, but the firm has more recently played down the idea of Bitcoin as an asset class.
In a memo to staff on Wednesday announcing Rich’s appointment, Goldman said that Rich “will leverage the firm’s capabilities to ensure we can best meet client interest across digital asset classes and technologies,” it said. “As a firm, we believe in the possibility of blockchain technologies, and it is imperative that we continue.”
Goldman plans to begin offering investments in digital assets in the second quarter, and is looking at eventually offering a “full spectrum” of such investments “whether that’s through the physical Bitcoin, derivatives or traditional investment vehicles,” Rich told CNBC.
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