Lloyd Blankfein, 63, is likely to step down as Goldman Sachs’ CEO in December, leaving behind an uncertain future for the Bank, especially its relationship with Bitcoin.
According to a report by The New York Times, Blankfein will step down after the company’s annual dinner for retired partners in December. Although the bank announced plans for a bitcoin trading desk and futures contract tied to bitcoin earlier this month, its foray into the world of bitcoin has been undermined with Blankfein’s doubts.
In late November, Blankfein called bitcoin a tool for fraud when its price went up to $10,000, despite reports that the company was considering a cryptocurrency-trading desk.
Blankfein denied claims that the company had a bitcoin strategy, saying cryptocurrency’s volatility made it a bad store of value. He added that he’d reconsider once it stops fluctuating 20% in a day.
The investment banker said earlier that he was “open” to bitcoin and that he would not let his own opinions affect the company’s strategy.
In early November, Blankfein said bitcoin might be the “next step” in the evolution of money. Although he was uncomfortable with bitcoin, he said he’s had the same doubts with cell phones when they first came out.
Blankfein noted that over the years, he has learned that a lot of things that he does not love often work out in the end. He even went as far as to saying that in the new world, a consensual agreement about value rather than a government fiat could possibly exist. If bitcoin did not become mainstream, hard money’s natural evolution would.
However, Blankfein changed his stance in mid-November, saying he didn’t like bitcoin and that it could be a bubble.
The banks’s future without Blankfein still remains unclear.
Bank Cites Uncertainty despite Acknowledging Activity
Goldman Sachs revealed in a Feb. 26 filing with the SEC that its cryptocurrency and blockchain-related investments as well as its plan to support client’s bitcoin futures trades could negatively impact the company should issues with blockchain protocols arise.
However, bitcoin is only one of the numerous uncertainties the bank face as it goes forward.
The New York Times reported that the bank’s mergers and acquisitions advising is a lot less profitable than before the financial crisis.
Goldman Sachs has since strengthened its investment banking into mid-sized cities and increased its online lending and currencies and commodities trading for large businesses.