Yesterday, Goldman Sachs sent out its ‘Emerging Theme Radar’ note to clients which explained the premise of blockchain technology and the possibilities it presented for the banking industry. That the company is looking into how blockchain technology can revolutionize the banking business was obvious from the text, with assertions that blockchain could change everything.
It is specifically the blockchain technology that Goldman Sachs has focused on, rather than the bitcoin that made it famous. Aspects of the technology that the banking industry could benefit from have been discussed in talks and conferences, including immutability, decentralization and transparency, countering fraud and tracking ownership of assets with ease in addition to reducing costs by improving efficiency and cutting out middle-men. In November Goldman Sachs filed a patent application on using cryptocurrencies for securities settlements. SETLcoin might be used to log various currencies on an online blockchain which could be run by Goldman Sachs without relying on any other cryptocurrency.
Whilst problems and obstacles were noted as being in the way of progress, with development costs and regulations concerns being noted among others, the overwhelming message behind the notification was that the company are viewing blockchain technology favorably and are looking become more heavily involved with it.
Goldman Sachs seemingly began its foray into the digital currency world in April of this year when they, along with China’s IDG Capital Partners, co-led a $50 million investment round in bitcoin startup Circle Internet. It is also one of the banks involved with blockchain technology startup R3.