There is currently a “resurgence of interest” in cryptocurrencies, but this time around it’s not from retail investors, but rather the financial institutions, the new head of digital assets at investment banking giant Goldman Sachs revealed in a recent interview.
Mathew McDermott, the recently appointed head of digital assets at the investment bank, told CNBC that the bank has “definitely seen an uptick in interest across some of our institutional clients who are exploring how they can participate” in the crypto space. He added that it feels like there is “a resurgence of interest in cryptocurrencies” from this segment.
As previously reported, US-based major digital asset manager Grayscale recorded its largest quarterly inflows in the second quarter, saying that it reflects a rapidly growing demand for digital assets, as investors increasingly look to diversify their portfolios amid aggressive monetary and fiscal intervention resulting from the COVID-19 crisis. Also, a US-based major software company MicroStrategy said recently that it may invest part of its cash into bitcoin (BTC) and other alternative investments, citing “negative real yield on US dollars.”
Meanwhile, London-based McDermott also revealed in the interview that he plans to significantly step up Goldman’s efforts in the crypto and blockchain space, doubling his team’s headcount across Europe and Asia.
Also, the investment banker has its own vision for financial markets, where all assets reside on a blockchain:
“In the next five to 10 years, you could see a financial system where all assets and liabilities are native to a blockchain, with all transactions natively happening on chain. So what you’re doing today in the physical world, you just do digitally, creating huge efficiencies,” McDermott told CNBC, adding that this could include things like “debt issuances, securitization, loan origination.”
“Essentially you’ll have a digital financial markets ecosystem, the options are pretty vast,” the 46-year-old banker said.
McDermott also revealed that Goldman is currently “exploring the commercial viability” of developing a “fiat digital token” of its own, like its competitor JP Morgan has already done with the JPM Coin. He also said that Goldman has been able to lure over JP Morgan’s former head of digital assets strategy, Oli Harris, who is known to have been involved with the JPM Coin project.
However, the executive added that Goldman Sachs is still early in the process of exploring such a coin, and that it continues to “work through the potential use cases” of it.
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