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Goldman Sachs Eyes the Blockchain, Crypto Community Yawns

Last Updated March 4, 2021 2:37 PM
P. H. Madore
Last Updated March 4, 2021 2:37 PM

Goldman Sachs is reportedly  more interested in the blockchain than ever, with in-depth research going into the concept of tokenization.

Blockchain Good, Crypto Great?

The firm wants in on the decentralized ledger goods now all of a sudden.

Let’s not get off the rails. This is a good thing.

If only the blockchain had existed for decades, not years, it might have prevented a lot of the silliness that led to the 2008 financial crisis. Goldman played their role in all that .

But Goldman Sachs regaining their interest in blockchain, this isn’t what we mean when we talk about institutions coming in by the dozen.

This is nothing at all by comparison to the expectations people have these days.

People might get surprised if you say you’ve got 10 banks coming together to support this or that cryptocurrency or blockchain project.

You might get a reaction if you say that a Fortune 500 company is building a blockchain product.

Big Deal, Goldman Sachs

But, for this to be news, there has to be something uniquely interesting about what Goldman Sachs plans to do.

Fortunately, there isn’t. It raises the obvious question: so what?

According to David Solomon, Goldman Sachs will be using the blockchain to lower its costs and improve access for clients. The various ways that a blockchain can help any given financial firm don’t have to be listed here.

By and large, they speak for themselves. Simple things like providing greater transparency, speed of settlement, and things of that nature all see improvement when blockchains are applied. Beyond that, firms often save money by reducing transaction costs, especially for international settlements.

Let’s not get too far down the rabbit hole here.

If we can say “so what” when a significant financial firm such as Goldman Sachs publicly talks about investing in the blockchain, then we’re perhaps further along than we’d like to admit. Things have progressed to the point where we are unimpressed by a single firm signing on. We’re here to transform entire industries, after all.

What does a blockchain world look like?

Sure, transaction fees are reduced. But are there more transactions? That is, is a blockchain world more expensive?

What kinds of things will we possess in our blockchain wallets? Will it be the way we get into our apartments, pay our bills, and receive our paychecks?

What will remain off-chain?

Will future generations be born on-chain, their birth certificates and identity details entered into a database from day one?

It’s hard telling.

The idea that we won’t all have some form of regular blockchain banking in the first-world is absurd, though. It seems evident that things will progress to the point that most major banks will support some form of blockchain.

The only question is, how far will this go? Will people store their bitcoin alongside their bank accounts? Will banks insure crypto deposits?

Major firms like Goldman getting in on the game might be a good sign, but we’re still probably a long way off from a full blockchain future.