Goldman Sachs Reportedly Exploring Ether Options

Goldman digital assets head said products will be available “in the coming months”


Mathew McDermott, global head of digital assets, Goldman Sachs; Source: Goldman Sachs


key takeaways

  • Goldman says it has continued client and institutional interest in the product, and that a market slump is a good time for entry
  • Former CFTC lawyer Braden Perry says unclear guidance from the CFTC might hamper wide availability

Goldman Sachs digital assets head, Mathew McDermott, said in an interview with Bloomberg that the bank is planning on launching an ether futures and options trading platform for clients in the near future. 

The report said that this move is part of the bank’s restart to its crypto services with McDermott at the helm.

McDermott said Goldman is planning on offering exchange-traded notes tracking the price of bitcoin as well as other digital assets derivatives products. Even though the crypto market is in something resembling a bear market, McDermott told Bloomberg that this hasn’t deterred client interest

“We’ve actually seen a lot of interest from clients who are eager to trade as they find these levels as a slightly more palatable entry point,” McDermott told Bloomberg in an interview. “We see it as a cleansing exercise to reduce some of the leverage and the excess in the system, especially from a retail perspective.”

For its part, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has given the green light to regulated digital assets derivatives trading so far and should in theory have no problem with Ether futures and options as former CFTC chairman Heath Tarbert has said on the record that he believes Ether is a commodity and not a security. 

But former CFTC enforcement attorney Braden Perry, now a partner at Kansas City-based Kennyhertz Perry said that the commission has yet to give clear guidance — calling the CFTC’s regulatory practice a moving target that seems to change with each new technological advance — and is using laws and regulations from yesteryear which might not be compatible in the era of digital assets. 

“These regulations were drafted decades ago and are framed in the so-called ‘traditional’ investing community of high-priced brokers and sophisticated, wealthy investors,” he told Blockworks by email. “The last thing any industry wants is regulation by enforcement, where agencies decide that some practices should have been illegal, and instead of declaring it illegal from now on through rule-making, go back and prosecute the people who were doing it before.”   

Perry believes that the CFTC is moving too slowly and is not allocating a sufficient budget to cover this market. 

“The inherent nature of crypto has presented new problems for regulators, including budgetary challenges. So despite their claim of becoming a leader in the crypto space, there has been a lack of guidance on the issue,” he continued.

Ether is currently trading for approximately $2,500, according to CoinGecko, up 2% on-day.  


Upcoming Events

Hilton Metropole | 225 Edgware Rd, London

Mon - Wed, March 18 - 20, 2024

Crypto’s premier institutional conference returns to London in March 2024. The DAS: London Experience: Attend expert-led panel discussions and fireside chats Hear the latest developments regarding the crypto and digital asset regulatory environment directly from policymakers and experts.


TUES, OCT. 8, 2024

Guided by the expertise of Blockworks Research Analysts team, this one day event will feature senior leaders, entrepreneurs, and developers from across the crypto industry. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in an immersive experience to explore the latest trends, […]

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

Research report cover graphics (1).jpg


Wormhole is a suite of open-source, permissionless protocols used to move assets and queries across blockchains.  Despite being a common misconception, Wormhole is not just a token bridge. Nevertheless, protocols can build token bridges on top of Wormhole by leveraging the cross-chain messaging provided.


Ether is a commodity just up until the point it is not, or, ether is not a commodity just up until the point it is — whichever you prefer


The bull-market conference was filled with good feelings but little clarity on where the crypto industry is headed next


The Friday ruling was issued as a default judgment because Sameer Ramani “appears to have fled the country”


Bitcoin’s previous record high against the Euro was set in September 2021


As bitcoin ETFs grow larger and more liquid, due diligence teams at wirehouses and other investment firms are more likely to clear them, Bitwise researcher says



The TRON DAO team attended ETH Denver, one of the leading events in the blockchain space