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Unlike many bankers, Goldman CEO maintains neutral view of Bitcoin, cites both benefits and risks.
Goldman Sachs’ CEO Lloyd Blankfein has been one of the most open-minded Wall Street CEOs on Bitcoin. He isn’t a Bitcoin bull like Michael Novogratz; but neither has he derided the currency as has JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon.
In fact, Blankfein has even pointed out that people distrusted paper currency when it was first introduced and later accepted it. The implication of his statement is that Bitcoin could become an acceptable means of exchanging value in the future, even if it isn’t widely accepted today.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Blankfein said:
[Bitcoin] is not for me. But there is a lot of things that there weren't for me in the past that have worked out very well. If it was 20 years forward and it worked out, I could tell you why it worked out. But based on everything that I know, I am not guessing that it will work out.
Lloyd Blankfein does not believe that everything is rosy for Bitcoin. When asked about the risks associated with Bitcoin, he highlighted its use in crime:
One of the main uses of Bitcoin is as a vehicle to perpetrate fraud. And that is maybe because you can't trace it. So is cash, but guess what, it is hard to accumulate cash, sometimes.
Bitcoin may be used in crime, but the favourite currency of criminals all over the world remains the US dollar. Even JP Morgan Chase was found guilty of assisting money laundering in Switzerland. So the Goldman CEO was certainly on weak ground when highlighting that particular risk factor
When asked about whether Goldman was thinking about an investment banking strategy for Bitcoin, Blankfein said:
We will see. If it works out and it gets more established, it trades like a store of value, it doesn't move up and down 20% and there is liquidity in it, we will think about it.
If Goldman does establish a trading desk for Bitcoin, it could trigger a stampede of institutional money into Bitcoin. Nothing could please the Bitcoin bulls more.
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