Cryptocurrencies hurtling towards mainstream acceptance

August 07, 2018
Chris Wheal

Cryptocurrencies are becoming mainstream – it became official last week when Reuters added digital coin prices to its live data, and now Goldman Sachs is boosting the sector’s credentials with plans to offer a custody service to crypto investment funds.

The big financial institutions are warming to cryptocurrencies

There are still many mainstream critics – such as JPMorgan Chase’s chief executive Jamie Dimon, who calls bitcoin a “fraud”, and billionaire investor Warren Buffett. Regulatory acceptance is also displaying slow progress as the Securities and Exchange Commission recently denied approval for a bitcoin exchange-traded fund backed by crypto-enthusiasts the Winklevoss twins.

Nevertheless, there is undoubtedly growing institutional interest in the cryptocurrency sector.

Adding to crypto legitimacy

Goldman Sachs, one of the world’s biggest investment banks, announced on Monday that it was considering offering custody for cryptocurrency funds, meaning that it will reduce risk in such investments by holding crypto securities on behalf of the funds.

While no timeline for the offering has been planned, the very fact that such a service has been considered by a major investment bank brings added legitimacy to the cryptocurrency sector as institutions become increasingly involved.

Goldman Sachs took a major step towards acceptance of cryptocurrency trade when it appointed Justin Schmidt earlier this year as head of its digital asset markets.

Indeed, Goldman is not alone in growing institutional interest in cryptocurrencies. Morgan Stanley reported at the beginning of August that it had appointed Andrew Peel – a crypto-trading expert as its head of digital asset markets.

Reuters adds live crypto data

The clincher came late in July, when Thomson Reuters announced it had added digital coin prices to its desktop data feed that transmits live to institutional trading desks across the globe.

Thomson Reuters has partnered with CryptoCompare, the digital asset data analytics company, to provide order book trade data for 50 cryptocurrencies.

While Reuters already offers sentiment data on cryptocurrencies from social media, it has experience increasing demand from customers to provide live price data, the media and financial trading giant said.

“The partnership with CryptoCompare puts pricing data for this emerging market alongside other asset classes, giving our customers a more comprehensive, holistic trading view,” said Sam Chadwick.

Post written by Chris Wheal
Chris Wheal is editor of OpenLedger's news and features service. An award-wining business journalists himself, he runs a team of freelance journalists from across the UK and north America.

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