Goldman Vents Over Bitcoin Futures Launches

Goldman wasn’t happy about the fast rollout off the Bitcoin futures contracts.

Not everyone was excited about Bitcoin futures contracts launching within months of them being announced. A Goldman Sachs exec let it be known Wednesday that the firm’s top brass felt rushed.

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) signed off on the plans several exchanges had to launch Bitcoin futures contracts in December. They included Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and Cboe Global Markets. Both launched in mid-December.

Goldman’s beef

Rana Yared, a managing director at Goldman, felt compelled to make the firm’s gripe known at a public meeting held in Washington, according to Bloomberg.

Bloomberg reported that “Yared made clear to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission that Goldman wasn’t exactly thrilled with the quick rollout by CME Group Inc. and Cboe Global Markets Inc.”

The business media outlet reported that Yared said:

“The launch of the product by both the Cboe and the CME left us in a very interesting position of having to receive contracts from clients that we ourselves have not made a decision as to how to regard. It’s “critical” for major clearing firms like Goldman to be prepared for new contracts so they can “risk manage them appropriately.

The problem was that Goldman was still in the process of determining if its employees could participate. As the firm’s top brass was debating the issue, it began receiving requests from clients who wanted their transactions to be executed, Yared reportedly said.

The complaints

The launch of these futures contracts were problematic for many. Knowing this, the CFTC decided to hold this meeting to get feedback from participating firms. One of the things officials wanted to learn was whether banks thought the abbreviated listing process should continue to be used for derivatives tied to cryptos.

Bitcoin futures were also criticized by brokers for overlooking risks.

In other Goldman news…

Goldman’s CEO Lloyd Blankfein has stressed that the investment bank isn’t starting a Bitcoin trading desk. Goldman will provide services for clients who trade Bitcoin derivatives, however it will not be placing bets on cryptos, or posting bids and offers on Bitcoin with its money.

In an interesting twist, Goldman Sachs inadvertently bought a stake in a Bitcoin trading desk, according to Quartz.

It reported Wednesday:

Goldman owns a stake in a trading desk, albeit somewhat inadvertently. The New York bank was part of a $50 million funding round in Circle Internet Financial in 2015, which was designed to allow users to transfer and receive Bitcoin. Circle Pay, its main service, now lets people send and receive money in fiat currencies the same way they send texts and emails.