‘A Vehicle to Perpetrate Fraud’: Goldman CEO Blankfein Sours on Bitcoin

November 30, 2017 10:00 PM UTC

Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein appears to have soured on bitcoin following its historic march to $10,000 and subsequent volatility.

In an interview with Bloomberg Television, Blankfein derided the flagship cryptocurrency as a “vehicle to perpetrate fraud,” stating that an asset as volatile as bitcoin does not strike him as an effective currency or store of value.

“Something that moves up and down 20 percent in a day doesn’t feel like a currency, doesn’t feel like a store of value,” Blankfein said on Thursday. “If it works out — and it gets more established, and it trades more like a store of value, and it doesn’t move up and down 20 percent, and there is liquidity to it — we’ll get to it.”

On Wednesday, the bitcoin price had stormed to $11,441 on bitcoin exchange Bitfinex — an all-time high — but it has since struggled to maintain the $10,000 threshold. At the time of writing, bitcoin was trading at $9,577 — nearly $2,000 off its all-time high but still up 20 percent for the week.

Despite reports that Goldman Sachs is considering launching a full-scale cryptocurrency trading desk, Blankfein said that the investment banking giant does not have a “bitcoin strategy” and has no plans to establish one — even though CME, CBOE, and even the Nasdaq are preparing to launch bitcoin futures contracts on their trading platforms.

“When do I have to have a bitcoin strategy? Not today. Life must be really rosy if that is what we are talking about,” he said.  

In the past, Blankfein had stated that although he was not comfortable with bitcoin, he was “open” to it and would not let his own biases preclude Goldman Sachs from making a foray into cryptocurrency trading.

Now, however, Blankfein, who was joined in this interview by Michael Bloomberg — a bitcoin skeptic himself — displayed a noticeably more hostile tone toward cryptocurrency than he has in the past.

“Bitcoin is not for me. A lot of things that have not been for me in the past 20 years have worked out, but I am not guessing that this will work out,” he concluded.

Image from Flickr/Fortune Live Media.

Last modified: May 20, 2020 9:18 PM UTC


Josiah is the U.S. Editor at CCN.com, where he focuses on financial markets. His work has also been featured on Yahoo Finance and Investing.com. He lives in rural Virginia. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Muck Rack. Email him directly at josiah.wilmoth(at)ccn.com. Josiah Wilmoth is a Trusted Journalist.