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Goldman Sachs' Largest Clients Are "Active or Exploring" the Crypto Space

Goldman Sachs' hedge fund clients are mainly interested in Bitcoin but are awaiting the SEC's ETH ETF approval to dive in.

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Hedge fund clients at Goldman Sachs have developed an appetite for crypto, according to the firm.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Max Minton, Goldman’s Asia Pacific head of digital assets, said, "The recent ETF approval has triggered a resurgence of interest and activities from our clients."

“Many of our largest clients are active or exploring getting active in the space,” he added. “It was a quieter year last year, but we’ve seen a pickup in interest from clients in onboarding, pipeline, and volume since the start of the year.”

Goldman Sachs launched its crypto trading desk in 2021, offering cash-settled Bitcoin option and Ethereum option trading, and CME-listed Bitcoin and Ethereum futures.

Earlier this month, Goldman Sachs' digital asset team said it would hire more people and explore the potential of blockchain technology to enhance the operation of more markets like private equity.

The move came a month after the Wall Street giant's biggest layoffs since the financial crisis.

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The majority of the firm's clients are traditional hedge funds but it plans to expand into a "wider universe of clients."

Bitcoin products are the most popular among clients, Minton said, but the appetite for Ethereum products could increase if the SEC approves ETH ETFs.

It's a similar message from BlackRock too. Robert Mitchnick, BlackRock's head of digital assets, recently said, "Bitcoin is overwhelmingly the number one focus and a little bit Ethereum" for their clients.

Nonetheless, BlackRock released details about its tokenized fund issued on Ethereum last week. The firm said the tokenized fund is named the BlackRock USD Institutional Digital Liquidity Fund, or BUIDL for short, and offers investors the opportunity to earn yields through Securitize Markets.

More Details Surface About BlackRock’s ‘BUIDL‘ Tokenized Asset Fund on Ethereum
BlackRock USD Institutional Digital Liquidity Fund (BUIDL) offers yields through Securitize Markets

In 2022, Goldman Sachs launched its own digital assets platform, GS DAP. Built on top of Digital Asset’s Daml smart-contract language and Canton, and unlike public blockchains like Ethereum, Goldman's GS DAP is secure for its users only.

Additionally, Goldman Sachs is making venture investments in Web3 startups. "We have a portfolio and will invest if or when it makes strategic sense,” Minton said.

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