By Bill Taylor/Managing Editor
AH, Springtime! Time for birds to sing, coats to be put away, the Kentucky Derby to be run, baseball season to get into swing AND………..a Wall Street rivalry to pick up again.
Well-sourced and credible ‘rumors’ have sprung up that there is a crypto trading race on between Goldman Sachs and old rival Morgan Stanley. Both firms realize that the digital asset/crypto world is THE next super hyper area of growth (and profits) and the race to be number 1 in the space is on.
Morgan Stanley is planning a trading desk specifically for institutional cyrpto trading, arbitrage and ICOs. Their target is “crypto-focused” hedge funds, not pure crypto funds, but rather those that are building out additional exposure to their already established structures. Goldman seems to be taking a slightly different path by using a third party such as Circle and others to establish connections. Either way, the rush to get into the crypto pool is massive. Everyone wants to put their swimsuits on (it is Spring) and make sure they get into the deep end of the pool.
So, who are these swimmers? Well banks, private equity, venture capital, fund-of-funds, family office groups, exchanges and on and on. Frankly EVERYBODY. The crypto world has really just morphed from your next door neighbor (and their nephews/nieces) into the huge sophisticated institutional sector. Remember, most of these new entrants that are tripping over each other to establish a foothold did not have a clue what blockchain was a few years ago (and some still don’t).
Of course the good old type A personalities come out and there is a rush to be the biggest and the recognized “leader”. So, let the battle begin. Will a third party passive approach rule, OR will a hands on pedal to the metal be the winner? Who wins? The crypto/digital asset sector. Go Goldman, Go Morgan.