Goldman Sachs CEO to Step Down, Bestowing Complex Bitcoin Relationship

Lloyd Blankfein, 63, is expected to step down as CEO of Goldman Sachs in December, leaving the bank’s future uncertain in several ways, including its relationship with bitcoin.The New York Times reported that Blankfein will likely depart following the company’s December annual dinner for retired partners. While the bank earlier this month announced plans for a bitcoin trading desk and a futures contract tied to bitcoin, its embrace of bitcoin has been undermined by Blankfein’s stated doubts.

Blankfein’s Doubts

In late November, he called bitcoin a tool for fraud when its price reached $10,000, amidst reports the company was exploring a cryptocurrency trading desk. He denied the company had a bitcoin strategy and said the cryptocurrency’s volatility made it a bad store of value. If it stops fluctuating 20% in a day, he said he’d reconsider.

Blankfein had said previously he was “open” to bitcoin and that he would not allow his own opinions to impact the company’s strategy.

In early November, he said bitcoin could prove to be the “next step” in money’s evolution. While he was uncomfortable with bitcoin, he said he felt the same skepticism with cell phones when he first encountered them.

Over the years, he noted, he has learned a lot of things work out that he does not love. He went as far as to say that in the new world, it is possible a consensual arrangement about value could exist rather than a government fiat…

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