Bitcoin Steady As Goldman Sachs Mulls Creating Digital Coin

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Bitcoin stablized as banking giant Goldman Sachs (GS) is looking at creating its own digital coin. CEO David Solomon told French newspaper Les Echos the firm is Goldman is conducting “extensive research on tokenization.”

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Goldman follows rival Dow Jones banking giant JPMorgan Chase (JPM). Back in February JPMorgan said it had created the JPM Coin.

At the latest posting time, Bitcoin edged up 0.35% to $11,712.77, according to CoinDesk, after briefly topping $12,000. Prices plunged as low as $10,373 on Thursday, just a day after they had soared as high as $13,844.

The last time the Bitcoin price topped $13,000 was in December 2017, the same month it reached its all-time high of $19,511 before a spectacular collapse in value. On Wednesday, after Bitcoin rallied roughly 40% since Friday, IBD warned the digital currency was flashing signs of a possible climax run.

Bitcoin prices, already up sharply in 2019, accelerated following the Facebook (FB) announcement that it will launch its own digital currency called Libra. However experts say there’s a big difference between Facebook’s product, which will be tied to a basket of assets, and the more speculative Bitcoin and most other cryptocoins.

Still, the recent trend of banking and tech giants moving into digital currencies suggests growing mainstream acceptance of the broader crypto space.

Other digital currencies were slightly lower. Ethereum fell 0.8%, Bitcoin Cash 0.2% and Ripple, also known as XRP, 3%. All three had suffered double-digit losses Thursday.

Among Bitcoin- and blockchain-related stocks, Riot Blockchain (RIOT) was up 5.9% on the stock market (OSTK) gained 4.2% and Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) was 8.2% higher.

Goldman Sachs stock and JPMorgan stock rose 2.3%. Big banks rallied Friday after the Federal Reserve OK’d dividend hikes and big buybacks.

Facebook advanced 0.6%..

Goldman Sachs Boards Bandwagon

The Bitcoin rally comes as Goldman Sachs CEO Solomon revealed the firm is conducting “extensive research on tokenization.” He also thinks blockchain will be essential to the payments systems in the future.

A blockchain acts as an unalterable digital ledger in which transactions are recorded chronologically and publicly. It is secured using cryptography.

Goldman Sachs believes digital tokenization will allow big financial players to reduce costs and better serve clients.

Wisdom Of Solomon

Goldman CEO Solomon said regulators are looking into how blockchain will work, and are taking a keen interest in the fledgling area. He told the french newspaper that an “evolution in regulation” is “certain.”

“Assume that all major financial institutions around the world are looking at the potential of tokenization, stable coins and frictionless payments,” said Solomon.

And he threw cold water on the idea that the likes of Facebook will try to become an alternative to the banking system.

“Do you believe that the tech giants, who have other concerns for the moment, want to submit to the same regulatory constraints as JPMorgan or Goldman Sachs?” said Solomon. “Of course, these companies have a lot of customers and will certainly try to monetize them. It seems to me, however, that they will try to seal partnerships with banks rather than become banks themselves.”

Goldman is following in the footsteps of rival JPMorgan Chase (JPM).

JPMorgan’s JPM Coin

Instead of a public blockchain, JPM Coin will have permissioned users. Only institutional customers complying with anti-money-laundering and know-your-customer rules can participate. Many cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, are often used to evade tax and regulatory systems.

JPMorgan said at the time that the JPM Coin is in a testing phase for business-to-business transactions, with international payments one key area. But the bank hinted at possible wider applications.

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