Look out, Facebook! Goldman Sachs is now hiring a cryptocurrency project manager.
The firm wants their new project manager to lead the development of Distributed Ledger Technology. The Wall Street bank’s foray into cryptocurrency is part of its GS Accelerate initiative.
The open Vice President / Executive Director level position will be responsible for developing, “comprehensive road maps for distributed ledger technology development.” They want the new project manger to manage Goldman engineers to create distributed ledger projects.
Goldman Sachs denied rumors earlier this year that the investment bank was planning to open a crypto trading desk. The rumors of a Goldman crypto trading desk have persisted ever since a mistaken Bloomberg report from December 2017. Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon put the scuttlebutt to rest in a decisive statement this April:
“That Bloomberg article was not appropriate. Like others, we are watching, plus doing work to try and understand the cryptocurrency marketplace as it develops.
We have some clients that have certain functionality that we’ve engaged with on clearing physically-settled futures. But other than that, we never had plans to open a cryptocurrency desk.”
But now it looks like the legacy finance titan is more interested in creating a cryptocurrency of its own than helping clients to invest in other cryptos that already exist. Now that Facebook is making a bold entry into the finance industry with Libra, maybe Goldman is now, finally, taking the threat of disruption seriously.
Shortly before Goldman Sachs announced last year that David Solomon would be replacing Lloyd Blankfein as CEO, Solomon said the firm was looking at bitcoin, but proceeding cautiously :
“We are clearing some futures around bitcoin, talking about doing some other activities there, but it’s going very cautiously. We’re listening to our clients and trying to help our clients as they’re exploring those things too.”
Proceeding cautiously sounds safe and prudent, but it is not very prudent. At this stage of cryptocurrency market adoption, the legacy finance industry is in big trouble unless it makes a move as bold as Satoshi Nakamoto did when he published the whitepaper and mined the first bitcoin in 2009. Now even well-capitalized social media companies are threatening the finance industry’s profits.
Creating another corporate BlandCoin like JP Morgan’s seriously uninspired settlement software will do nothing to save Wall Street’s profits. This is like Blockbuster and Encyclopedia Britannica just setting by and watching Netflix and Wikipedia make them fundamentally obsolete forever.
There’s only one truly winning move for Goldman Sach’s new distributed ledger project lead to make: Get a volume discount on ASIC miners from China, plug them in, and start hashing for Satoshis.