In the wake of the crash in bitcoin last year, institutional players that had big plans for the cryptocurrency market are reigning in those efforts.
According to a report in The New York Times citing sources who requested anonymity, the likes of Goldman Sachs, the New York Stock Exchange and the Chicago Board of Options Exchange are either seeing little demand for their efforts or are facing regulatory hiccups that are delaying plans. Take Goldman Sachs for starters. A person familiar with its bitcoin trading operations told The New York Times that a year after launching the business, interest on the part of customers is weak. What’s more, Goldman Sachs hasn’t received the nod from regulators to buy and hold bitcoins for customers.
Meanwhile, the New York Stock Exchange has delayed the opening of the crypto exchange it revealed in 2018 with little in the way of evidence that it will get the necessary approvals from regulators. In March the Chicago Board Options Exchange said it would stop offering a bitcoin trading contract it launched at the end of 2017.
The retrenchment on the part of the big financial companies comes as the price of bitcoin had plummeted over the past years. At one point bitcoin was trading at close to $20,000, but it is now around $4,000 where it has remained for months. It did get a boost Tuesday (April 2), trading above $5,000 at one point. The struggles the financial heavy hitters are having bringing bitcoin to the masses is worrying some followers of cryptocurrency. After all, Wall Street was expected to bring legitimacy to the digital token marketplace.
“The smart money knows that crypto is not ready,” Ciaran Murray, a cryptocurrency trader in London who had tried to create a hedge fund centered on digital tokens told The New York Times.“Once you get into the details, it scared them off,” he said referring to investors. Murray is among bitcoin backers who aren’t writing it off even if it’s not advancing as expected. The paper noted that Goldman Sachs and Intercontinental Exchange, the owner of the New York Stock Exchange, are forging ahead with their crypto trading operations even if interest on the part of customers has been lukewarm. Meanwhile, Fidelity has started working with some clients that want to invest in digital tokens.