Goldman Sachs, a multinational investment bank, says it will begin to offer investment opportunities in bitcoin and other digital assets to customers.
CNBC reports that the company, which is valued at $119 billion, will open the investment offers to its top clients in the second quarter of 2021.
The investment offer at Goldman Sachs will be open to clients in the company’s private wealth management group.
Those in the category include individuals, families and endowments with at least $25 million to invest.
Mary Rich, global head of digital assets for Goldman’s private wealth management division, said the bank is creating investment alternatives for its clients interested in digital assets.
“We are working closely with teams across the firm to explore ways to offer thoughtful and appropriate access to the ecosystem for private wealth clients, and that is something we expect to offer in the near term,” she said.
Rich explained that the bank is looking at ultimately offering a full spectrum of investments in bitcoin and digital assets, “whether that’s through the physical bitcoin, derivatives or traditional investment vehicles”.
According to her, a section of the bank’s clients consider digital assets as the new internet which needs to be leveraged upon.
“There’s a contingent of clients who are looking to this asset as a hedge against inflation, and the macro backdrop over the past year has certainly played into that,” she said.
“There are also a large contingent of clients who feel like we’re sitting at the dawn of a new Internet in some ways and are looking for ways to participate in this space.
“We’re still in the very nascent stages of this ecosystem; no one knows exactly how it will evolve or what shape it will be. But I think it’s fairly safe to expect it will be part of our future.”
In recent times, bitcoin has received increased attention globally.
In February, Tesla Inc, an electric carmaker, invested $1.5 billion in bitcoin.
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, had also announced that electric cars can now be purchased using bitcoin as a payment option.
Despite its rising presence, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had issued a directive to banks to close accounts of persons or entities involved in cryptocurrency transactions.
The apex bank also said virtual currencies such as bitcoin, litecoin, and others are issued by unlicensed and unregulated entities, the patrons and users value “anonymity, obscurity, and concealment” and there are risks of “loss of investments, money laundering, terrorism financing, illicit fund flows and criminal activities”.