Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon has categorically refuted that the bank ever had any plans to open a crypto trading desk and stated that earlier media reports suggesting otherwise were incorrect. Solomon made his remarks before the United States House of Representatives Financial Services Committee on April 10, during a hearing entitled “Holding Megabanks Accountable: A Review of Global Systemically Important Banks 10 years after the Financial Crisis.”
As previously reported, Goldman Sachs’ alleged plans to create a crypto-focused unit by the end of June 2018 were originally covered in a December 2017 report from Bloomberg. In September 2018, unnamed sources told Business Insider that the project had been put on hold. Several days later, the firm’s chief financial officer, Martin Chavez, told reporters that the recent reports were “fake news.”
In his remarks, Solomon said that Goldman Sachs has engaged with clients that are involved in clearing physically-settled crypto futures, but that alleged trading desk plans were false:
“The first [Bloomberg article] wasn’t correct. Like others, we are watching and [...] doing work to try to understand the cryptocurrency market as it develops [...] but we never had plans to open a cryptocurrency trading desk.”
Notably, the CEO did not rule out such a move from the bank in the future, stating that:
“We might at some point in time, but there’s no question, when you’re dealing with cryptocurrency, it’s a new area [...] it is unclear from a regulatory perspective, it’s unclear whether [...] in the long run, as a currency, those technologies are going to work and be viable.”
Ohio Republican Congressman Warren Davidson, who was questioning Solomon over the media reports, himself voiced his belief that the U.S. is lagging behind other countries and failing to “take advantage of this thriving sector [crypto]” due to regulatory uncertainty.
As Cointelegraph previously reported, other CEOs in attendance at the hearing included JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, who affirmed the value of blockchain technology but reiterated his belief that decentralized cryptocurrencies do not have any intrinsic value.
A bipartisan bill to exclude cryptocurrencies from being classified as securities and foster more regulatory clarity for crypto — first proposed by Rep. Davidson and Democratic Congressman Darren Soto in December 2018 — was reintroduced in a revised form to Congress this week.