Goldman Sachs just became Wall Street's biggest convert to cryptocurrency.
JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon is on record as having said earlier this year that bitcoin is a "fraud" and that he would fire any employee he caught trading it. Goldman Sachs, the famed investment bank led by Lloyd Blankfein, is now preparing to set up its own cryptocurrency trading desk.
Goldman plans to begin buying and selling cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin as early as June, though the bank is still figuring out how it will store the digital assets and keep them secure, according to a Bloomberg report published on Thursday afternoon.
The move keeps Goldman at the forefront of Wall Street banks amid this year's cryptocurrency explosion.
Blankfein tweeted this fall about his interest in bitcoin, and when CBOE Global Markets and CME Group began listing the world's first bitcoin futures in December, Goldman stepped up to clear those transactions. Other large banks, such as Citigroup and Bank of America, have stayed out of it.
Goldman's trading desk will be set up in New York, according to Bloomberg, though it isn't yet clear in which division it will be housed. One possibility is the fixed-income, currencies and commodities unit.
It remains to be seen whether other Wall Street players will follow Goldman's lead. This year has already seen a tsunami of interest in digital currencies from hedge funds, venture capitalists and the general public, as new coins launched and the total value of the market shot up from less than $18 billion to some $600 billion on Dec. 21.
But the Goldman news may be a sign that the real tidal wave is still inbound.