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Goldman Sachs will clear bitcoin futures for some of its clients

Photo: Andrew Burton/ Getty Images
  • Goldman Sachs will clear bitcoin trading for some clients on a case-by-case basis, according to a person familiar with the plans.
  • The derivatives contracts are set to go live on the Cboe Futures Exchange on Sunday.
  • Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein said last week that bitcoin “doesn’t feel like a store of value” or a currency.
  • Bitcoin is up more than 1,500% this year.

Goldman Sachs will clear bitcoin futures trading for some of its clients, according to a person familiar with the plans.

The derivatives, which allow traders to bet on the cryptocurrency’s price without buying the underlying asset, will be offered by the Cboe Futures Exchange from Sunday. The CME Group will launch its own version of the product later in December.

Goldman is still exploring whether to play a role in other aspects of cryptocurrencies such as market making, the person said. Goldman will decide who gets to trade bitcoin futures on a case-by-case basis, the person said.

Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein said last week that it was too early for the firm to have a bitcoin strategy. “Something that moves up and down 20 per cent in a day doesn’t feel like a currency, doesn’t feel like a store of value,” Blankfein told Bloomberg TV.

The Wall Street Journal earlier reported on Goldman’s plans, adding that Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, and the Royal Bank of Canada are telling customers that they won’t have access when futures trading goes live.

Bitcoin has had a wild year, culminating in its biggest thousand-dollar moves ever this week based on round numbers. It gained over $US4,000 over the past two days, and rose above $US16,000 per dollar on Thursday.

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