Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, in a rare tweet Tuesday, commented that he is “still thinking about Bitcoin”. Blankfein stressed that he is neither endorsing nor rejecting the cryptocurrency at this time, but seemed to be open to the idea. He also compared these early days for cryptocurrencies to the time when people were skeptical of paper money when it was displacing gold.
Still thinking about #Bitcoin. No conclusion – not endorsing/rejecting. Know that folks also were skeptical when paper money displaced gold.
— Lloyd Blankfein (@lloydblankfein) October 3, 2017
This is in sharp contrast to JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon’s very public dislike of all things bitcoin. He has famously called it a “fraud”, “stupid”, “far too dangerous” and the tulip bulb craze of the 21st century.
Goldman’s Bitcoin Division
Blankfein’s tweet is on the heels of a Wall Street Journal story Monday which reported that Goldman Sachs was weighing the creation of a new trading division for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. This would make it the first major Wall Street firm ready to directly deal with the nascent cryptocurrency trading space. While this move will be welcomed by Bitcoin investors and enthusiasts alike, it is also likely to attract even more scrutiny in the form of added rules and regulations from the authorities. But this move on Goldman’s part could legitimize Bitcoin, and by extension other cryptocurrencies, among regular investors.
What About Ethereum?
The Ethereum community is taking this opportunity to educate Blankfein about the relative merits of Ethereum over Bitcoin. However, this “education” might be unnecessary because similar to JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs is also investing in building it’s blockchain technology division. In fact Goldman has actually received a patent for a “Cryptographic Currency For Securities Settlement” system. Unfortunately for the Ethereum community, this technology does not seem to be built on Ethereum and in fact could be seen as another potential rival. Interestingly, Goldman has also decided to not join the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, whose members include JPMorgan among other major international banks and corporations.