Goldman Sachs Appoints New Global Digital Asset Leader

Goldman Sachs has named Matthew McDermott its new global head of digital assets, in a move signaling the bank's renewed commitment to that area of banking, CNBC reported.

McDermott, previously a managing director for Goldman who was in charge of running the company's internal funding operations, is a veteran of old-school financing markets, according to the network.

His view of what should happen with the world of finance is described as "radical" by CNBC, as he envisions a world where everything in finance could be kept on electronic ledgers, and initial public offerings (IPOs) and debt issuance could be automated rather than overseen by scores of lawyers and bankers.

In an interview, the London-based executive projected that a transition to an all-blockchain-based financial system, with all assets and liabilities native to that, could happen in "the next five to 10 years," CNBC reported.

“So what you’re doing today in the physical world, you just do digitally, creating huge efficiencies," he said, according to CNBC. "And that can be debt issuances, securitization, loan origination; essentially you’ll have a digital financial markets ecosystem, the options are pretty vast.”

Goldman Sachs predicted in July that online sales will keep increasing around 20 percent every year for the next several years.

The interest in blockchains and digital currencies has been growing as of late even in the mainstream, with a global survey by Deloitte finding that a growing number of business leaders think distributed ledgers will have a significant impact on finances.

That comes despite Goldman Sachs' own track record, in which the bank asserted that bitcoin wasn't an asset class. That comment reportedly angered the Winklevoss twins, the founders of crypto exchange Gemini.

PYMNTS noted this spring that Goldman Sachs has shifted its forecast on bitcoin. Initially the bank was positive and supportive, but said on a conference call in May that bitcoin didn't constitute an asset because it doesn't generate cash flow or earnings.



Banks, corporates and even regulators now recognize the imperative to modernize — not just digitize —the infrastructures and workflows that move money and data between businesses domestically and cross-border.

Together with Visa, PYMNTS invites you to a month-long series of livestreamed programs on these issues as they reshape B2B payments. Masters of modernization share insights and answer questions during a mix of intimate fireside chats and vibrant virtual roundtables.