Goldman Sachs Exploring Crypto Custody Services
Bloomberg has reported that leading financial services company, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., is exploring cryptocurrency custody as a potential future product. According to “people familiar with the matter,” Bloomberg wrote that the firm “is considering a plan to offer custody for crypto funds.”
A spokesperson for Goldman Sachs stated: “In response to client interest in various digital products we are exploring how best to serve them in this space. At this point, we have not reached a conclusion on the scope of our digital asset offering.”
A lack of established custodians in providing cryptocurrency services has increasingly been perceived as a barrier to institutional investment into virtual currencies in recent discourse, with Blake Estes of Alston & Bird stating last month: “So much of the security of bitcoin and other cryptocurrency rests with who stores that private key, who controls the vault. Blockchain (the technology behind the transfer of assets) itself can’t be hacked, but it all still boils down to who ends up holding the keys. I’d tend to think that pension funds will not venture into uncharted territory until they’re certain about the security of who has custody of the keys.”
South African Exchange Launches Tether Pairings to Drive Down Local Price Premium
Johannesburg-based cryptocurrency exchange, Altcointrader, launched Tether (USDT) pairings. The company has introduced USDT with the intention of driving down the premium on cryptocurrency prices in South Africa.
Richard de Sousa, Altcointrader partner, estimates that BTC trades at “6%-7%” higher in South Africa when compared to USD prices. With the introduction of USDT pairings, Mr. De Sousa expects that foreigners seeking to capitalize on the arbitrage opportunities presented by the South African markets will drive down the premium on local prices over time.
“The trading pair is quite important because it allows people to buy bitcoin without using rands,” De Sousa stated. “They will level the price and make it more competitive. There are massive arbitrage opportunities. It won’t happen overnight, but those who see the opportunities and are willing to take them will benefit tremendously, and this benefit will trickle down to the man in the street because the price of bitcoins in [South Africa] will become closer to the international standard.”
Sublime Group Announced as Market Makers for Blockexmarkets
Digital asset brokerage exchange, Blockex, has announced that Sublime Group has begun operating as a market maker on its exchange, Blockexmarkets.
The chief executive officer of Blockex, Adam Leonard, stated: “Market Making is a core part of any mature exchange and we are particularly delighted to welcome Sublime Group aboard to our market maker program because they are a great fit for our business.”
Rishan Bhagowat, Director of Sublime Group, added: “The digital token age is upon us and BlockEx has shown they are the institutional-grade exchange provider that bridges the traditional and new capital worlds. This shared vision makes BlockExMarkets.com an ideal market for us to support. We’re more than excited to partner with BlockEx and contribute to the realization of the next generation of capital markets.”
Last month, Blockex was announced as one of 29 businesses accepted into cohort 4 of the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority’s regulatory sandbox.