Goldman has concluded that Bitcoin is not a fraud and does not have the characteristics of a currency. But a number of clients wanted to hold it as a valuable commodity, similar to gold, given the limited quantity of Bitcoin that can ever be “mined” in a complex, virtual system.
“It resonates with us when a client says, ‘I want to hold Bitcoin or Bitcoin futures because I think it is an alternate store of value,’” she said.
Goldman has already been doing more than most banks in the area, clearing trades for customers who want to buy and sell Bitcoin futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board Options Exchange.
In the next few weeks — the exact start date has not been set — Goldman will begin using its own money to trade Bitcoin futures contracts on behalf of clients. It will also create its own, more flexible version of a future, known as a non-deliverable forward, which it will offer to clients.
Coinbase said it has traded $150 billion in assets on the platform and it has received more than $225 million in funding.
Personnel numbers were also disclosed, and the company has hired more than 300 full-time employees. When contractors are factored in, the company has 1,000 people working for Coinbase. Nearly 20 percent work in compliance, the company said.
Coinbase said it increased its transaction capacity by 1000 percent year over year.
“We expect to again double this capacity in coming months, all while maintaining the highest standard of security expected by our customers,” the company says.