Business 19 July 2018

Erik Gibbs

New Goldman Sachs CEO more open to cryptocurrency than former boss

Earlier this year, Lloyd Blankfein reportedly announced that he was going to retire from his position as head of the financial empire Goldman Sachs. The retirement was expected to happen at the end of 2018 with the company’s current president, David Solomon, being the most likely successor. Blankfein has apparently pushed up his timetable and said that Solomon will definitely be given the position. The move is potentially great news for the cryptocurrency community, as Solomon has been much more open to crypto than his predecessor.

Solomon is not what many would expect to find in the way of the leader of a global financial company worth billions. He spends his free time working as a DJ, with a distinct preference for electronic dance music and has been behind some of the more recent advances at the company. Under his purview, Goldman Sachs has already begun to break into the cryptocurrency industry more, and recently launched its own cryptocurrency trading desk. He is a firm believer in progress and has been quoted as saying that the company must “evolve its business and adapt to the environment” if it wishes to remain competitive.

Blankfein has only recently showed a lukewarm attitude toward crypto— which is better than the “hell no” attitude he had last year—acknowledging that global crypto is coming, but has said that it won’t be Bitcoin. On the other hand, Solomon has shown a strong interest in digital currency for quite some time and the company has already made several substantial investments in the space.

Goldman Sachs invested into Circle, which operates an over-the-counter (OTC) trading desk for crypto. It has also hired a prolific financial trader, Justin Schmidt, to head up the digital asset markets for the company’s securities division. It is also one of only a handful of financial companies that began clearing crypto futures for both the CME and CBOE exchanges after they were launched last December.

There are still a few months of transition before Solomon, who isn’t expected to step up until October, takes the reins completely. However, he is no doubt already pushing forward with his agenda and it’s possible that the company will take a huge step forward into crypto thanks to Solomon.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

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