Goldman Sachs, one of the world’s largest investment banks, is getting in on cryptocurrency. The firm gave the go-ahead for its first-ever loan backed by bitcoin this week, a first for Goldman and a significant move in the larger financial sphere.
This isn’t a loan program you can just walk into Goldman looking for, at least for now. Only one such loan has been granted, according to a spokesperson for the bank, with bitcoin offered as collateral for the cash. Goldman found the deal “interesting” because of its 24-hour risk management, Bloomberg reports.
And that’s not the only investment firm that introduced crypto to its ranks this week, either. Fidelity Investments announced it’ll be letting its customers contribute bitcoin to their 401(k) accounts in the near future, making it the first major firm to do so.
Traditional banking companies have been incredibly skeptical of allowing customers to utilize cryptocurrencies in the ways they might use fiat currency, but that tide is shifting rapidly.
Almost there — As of this moment, neither Goldman Sachs nor Fidelity have actually opened up their accounts to bitcoin. Goldman’s only given out that one loan so far, though the company has really been making its way into the fintech sphere for a while now. Goldman is the bank behind the Apple Card, after all, and it partnered with Galaxy Digital earlier this year for over-the-counter bitcoin trading.
Fidelity’s step into the world of bitcoin is more meaningful in that any one of the companies that use Fidelity will be able to offer bitcoin investment options to its employees. That’s more than 23,000 employers that will soon be able to offer 401(k) bitcoin investments.
Going mainstream? — Bitcoin — and other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum — have made significant moves into the mainstream in the last couple of years. Once considered a fringe interest by the masses, bitcoin is now accepted by many payment processors and used to power thousands and thousands of tech projects. Even the U.S. government isn’t able to ignore cryptocurrency’s stature, now.
With major financial institutions getting in on bitcoin, too, it’s increasingly clear that the financial world is finally taking it seriously.