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Goldman Sachs Corporate Clients “Jumped Back In” Crypto Following ETF Approvals: Report



Table of Contents

Institutional Investment in Crypto Rises with ETF Approvals

  • Goldman Sachs’ hedge fund clients are increasingly investing in cryptocurrencies following the U.S. approval of Bitcoin ETFs.
  • The firm, while not offering spot crypto products, facilitates client exposure to digital assets through derivatives like Bitcoin and Ether options and futures.
  • Despite uncertainty about an Ether ETF approval, Goldman Sachs plans to expand digital asset services to a wider range of clients, including asset management funds and banks.

Goldman Sachs’ hedge fund clients are enthusiastically diving back into the cryptocurrency market this year, reignited by the recent approval of Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the United States. Max Minton, who leads digital assets for Goldman Asia Pacific, has observed a marked increase in client activities within the crypto sector, according to a Bloomberg report dated March 24.

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Surge in Crypto Investments Post-Bitcoin ETF Approvals

Minton notes the role of the United States’ approval of ten new Bitcoin ETFs in January as a key catalyst. These approvals have integrated cryptocurrency more firmly into the traditional markets, sparking renewed interest among institutional investors. “The recent ETF approval has triggered a resurgence of interest and activities from our clients,” Minton explained. This resurgence primarily involves Goldman’s existing clients, who are engaging through the firm’s options and futures offerings. Hedge funds, in particular, are showing the most significant interest.

At the end of 2023, Goldman Sachs reported a record $2.8 trillion in assets under management, reflecting the firm’s significant influence in the financial markets. Despite this, Goldman currently does not provide any spot crypto products to its clients. However, since launching its first crypto trading desk in 2021, the firm offers exposure to crypto derivatives, including Bitcoin and Ethereum options and futures.

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Goldman Sachs’ Growing Crypto Offerings and Client Interest

Minton described the previous year as comparatively quieter but has observed a spike in interest since the start of the year. This interest is not limited to investment alone. Clients are utilizing derivatives to gain exposure to the volatility of cryptocurrencies and to make strategic predictions on price movements in the mid-term. Bitcoin-related products, in particular, stand out as the most popular investment vehicles among active clients.

Looking ahead, Minton sees the potential approval of a spot Ethereum ETF in the U.S. as another possible turning point that could shift Goldman’s institutional clients toward Ether investments. However, Bloomberg ETF analysts consider the likelihood of an Ethereum ETF approval by May to be only 35%, citing the Securities and Exchange Commission’s prolonged hesitation as a bearish indicator.

Expanding Goldman’s Digital Asset Clientele

Regardless of the outcome of an Ether ETF, Minton emphasizes that Goldman plans to expand its reach to a broader array of clients. The firm aims to include asset management funds, banks, and more specialized crypto asset firms in its future endeavors. This expansion reflects a growing recognition of the evolving landscape of digital assets and their increasing relevance in the wider financial market.

Goldman Sachs’ shift back into crypto, fueled by the recent ETF approvals, mirrors a broader trend in the financial industry. As traditional financial institutions continue to integrate cryptocurrency into their offerings, the line between traditional and digital asset markets is becoming increasingly blurred, signaling a new era of investment opportunities.

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