Goldman Sachs Still ‘Hugely Supportive’ of Exploring Blockchain Applications

Mathew McDermott expects Goldman’s Digital Assets Platform to be used for more services than just tokenized bonds

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Goldman Sachs tower in Jersey City, NJ | Source: Shutterstock / VIS Fine Art, modified by Blockworks

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Goldman Sachs laid off over 3,000 employees last month, but the investment giant is open to boosting the size of its digital assets team this year.

The bank is still “hugely supportive” of exploring blockchain-related applications, Goldman’s head of digital assets Mathew McDermott reportedly said last week. 

Dermott, who was appointed to lead the digital assets team in 2020, only had a team of four when he started out. Less than three years later, its strength now stands at 70. 

And he intends to add more.

The team will take more members “as appropriate” this year, Bloomberg reported him as saying, without elaborating further on details. Goldman didn’t return a request for comment by press time.

Dermott’s comments were reportedly made in Hong Kong, which issued its first tokenized green bond worth $100 million using Goldman’s protocol called GS DAP (Digital Assets Platform). 

The DAP is built on a private permissioned blockchain, not a public blockchain. McDermott doesn’t expect public blockchains to be used to port major financial transactions just yet, owing to safety and regulatory concerns. 

He anticipates the Goldman platform could support more services, including derivatives and private equity, as it enables investors to “see more data, have more transparency, more accurate pricing on an asset.” 

Asset tokenization is increasingly becoming a popular theme for the industry, with other corporates like Siemens and Hamilton Lane also lining up with their own projects.

Aside from wanting to build out its digital assets team, Goldman recently showed interest in snapping up distressed crypto companies. 

The aftermath of FTX’s implosion dented the valuations of several crypto companies due to the interconnected nature of the industry. McDermott told Reuters at the time that banks saw an opportunity to gain from the collapse, and that Goldman would be conducting due diligence to evaluate the potential of various companies. According to him, they would be “priced much more sensibly.” 

It isn’t clear yet whether Goldman has executed that plan.


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