Demand for bitcoin exists across Goldman Sachs' wealth management clientele, says crypto exec

Across the spectrum of clients, from hedge funds to wealthy individuals, Goldman Sachs sees demand for bitcoin, according to Matthew McDermott, the firm's head of digital assets.

During the most recent episode of Exchanges at Goldman Sachs, the UK-based executive described the growing institutional demand the bank has seen. As The Block reported Thursday, the bank just wrapped up a client survey that showed more than 60% of respondents expect their digital asset holdings to increase. 

"The team have fielded well over 300 conversations," McDermott, who was selected to lead the crypto business in August, said. "And when I talk about the broad spectrum, I'm referring to hedge funds, to asset managers, to macro funds, to banks, to corporate treasurers, insurance, and pension funds."

The bank has also picked up on interest within its wealth management division, which once said bitcoin wouldn't make for a good investment. 

"You know, we see continued appetite both internally and externally through the private banks," he said. "So, yes, we see a huge amount of demand institutionally, but we're also seeing that reflected in the private wealth management space as well."

Corporate treasurers, in McDermott's view, are increasingly becoming interested in bitcoin as a balance sheet investment to hedge negative rates and "general fears around asset devaluation."

Although it doesn't seem like Goldman would be working with firms on such allocations, it appears Goldman Sachs is taking cryptocurrency as a subject matter more seriously. During the episode, McDermott confirmed reports that the firm would relaunch its cryptocurrency trading desk, offering trading of derivatives rather than physical bitcoin itself. 

"We'll focus on CME features and non-deliverable forwards," McDermott said. "And we're also now disseminating bitcoin content to our institutional clients through our Marquee platform."

Listen to the full episode here