Goldman Sachs CEO Blankfein Doesn’t Hold Bitcoin, but Won’t Dismiss It
Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein still can’t predict the future of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency, bitcoin. Though he claims he doesn’t hold any BTC, he’s certainly not ready to reject the idea — at least for now.
Discomfort Around Anything That’s New
In an interview with Bloomberg yesterday, Blankfein speculated that bitcoin might be used as a currency in the future — although for now, he says he has “a level of discomfort with it”.
He noted it was the same kind of discomfort he always felt around “anything that’s new”.
“But I’ve learned over the years, there’s a lot of things that work out pretty well that I don’t love,” he said. There was a time when he wondered why anyone would want a cellphone when they weighed a ton “and there’s phone machines every 15 feet.”
Blankfein was anything but critical. Sounding even a little like a Bitcoiner himself, the banker said: “I read a lot of history, and I know that once upon a time, a coin was worth $5 if it had a $5 worth of Gold in it. Now we have a paper that is just backed by fiat … Maybe in the new world, something gets backed by consensus.”
Investors Don’t Get Bitcoin but They Understand Returns
The bitcoin price has skyrocketed in 2017 and isn’t showing any signs of slowing down (yet). As far as simple return on investment goes, it has been one of the most lucrative assets to own.
Despite world economies growing more complex and competitive, nothing else has bitcoin’s ROI or volatility. In fact, we reported just the other day that high-frequency trading firms were jumping into cryptos, tired of the lack of action in other asset classes.
Even with so much mainstream talk about cryptocurrency nowadays, conservative investors are still doubtful about investing in something that lacks “official” endorsement. Many simply cannot grasp the idea of a valuable asset that has no commodity, no government or corporate backing… or even a leader.
‘I Am Open to It’ Says Blankfein
Just last month, Blankfein tweeted:
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
Goldman Sachs is not the only company playing safe by taking no sides. Many Wall Street firms are playing safe in public, and haven’t come out boldly to support or oppose the cryptocurrency.
Blankfein said: “I do not have an investment in it, but I’m not willing to pooh-pooh it and that’s why I say I’m open to it.”
Last month, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon repeated his years-old claim that bitcoin is a “fraud” and its investors “stupid”. Rather than representing the mainstream voice as he did a few years ago, though, Dimon’s starting to sound like an old man yelling at a cloud.
Wall Street stock strategist Thomas J. Lee said the recent rise in the price is due to CME Group’s plan to launch bitcoin futures. The bullish Lee expects the currency to reach $25,000 by the year 2022, and has claimed people under 30 see nothing unusual about that.
The past few months have been positive for cryptocurrency enthusiasts, not just with the price but also the increasing trust in the non-fiat currency. The road ahead may be smooth or bumpy, but it won’t stop people from supporting or opposing it.
Is the mainstream mood starting to swing in bitcoin’s favor? Why or why not? Let’s hear your thoughts.
Images via Bloomberg, Telegraph