Goldman Sachs is putting on hold plans to open a crypto-assets trading desk, which was announced with much fanfare at the height of crypto mania in December 2017. Business Insider reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.
Much of the justification for this decision is based on the uncertain legal and regulatory footing that the industry is currently muddling through.
According to Business Insider, officials at the investment firm realized that more steps would need to be taken for a regulated bank to trade bitcoin, including factors beyond Goldman’s control.
As part of that decision, Goldman has moved plans to open a desk for trading cryptocurrencies further down a list of priorities for how it can participate in cryptocurrency markets, the people said. It may revive these plans later, they added.
But for now, Goldman is focusing on other projects such as a custody product for crypto, which would mean that the bank holds cryptocurrency and, potentially, keeps track of price changes on behalf of large fund clients. Many market observers have said that for large institutional firms to get comfortable trading bitcoin, there need to be reputable custody offerings to safeguard holdings.