by Joseph Young
Multinational investment banking firm Goldman Sachs has been involved with bitcoin and its underlying distributed ledger technology since early 2014.
The bank led a record-breaking US$50 million funding round for bitcoin exchange and payment processing startup Circle Inc. in April and has formed various blockchain-focused research groups to explore the potential of the technology in the traditional financial sector.
Despite the organization’s optimism toward blockchain technology and decentralized applications, the bank sees no future in bitcoin as a currency. In an interview with Business Insider, the multi-billion dollar baking group stated that the blockchain technology could disrupt the the banking sector by eliminating the majority of financial mediators and intermediaries which exist today.
“While the Bitcoin hype cycle has gone quiet, Silicon Valley and Wall Street are betting that the underlying technology behind it, the Blockchain, can change… well everything,” said the bank in an Emerging Theme Radar note sent to clients on Wednesday.
Furthermore, the bank’s analyst Robert Boroujerdi stated in a newly released report:
“It [blockchain] has the potential to redefine transactions and the back office of a multitude of different industries. From banking and payments to notaries to voting systems to vehicle registrations to wire fees to gun checks to academic records to trade settlement to cataloging ownership of works of art, a distributed shared ledger has the potential to make interactions quicker, less-expensive and safer.”
“Bitcoin was just the opening act, with the Blockchain ready to take center stage.”
Goldman Sachs has also filed a patent for its own cryptocurrency called SETLCoin, which will be used between established financial institutions and banks to settle trading stocks, bonds and other assets.
The patent (application no. 20150332395) titled “Cryptographic Currency for Securities Settlement” reads:
“The cryptographic currency protocol supports a virtual wallet that, in various embodiments, is a security and cash account for storing and managing the cryptographic currency. Opening a transaction via the virtual wallet to transfer the cryptographic currency is a strong guarantee of the availability of funds in the virtual wallet because, e.g., funds are not transacted unless the commit phase is successful.”
The bank plans to implement the technology and assist its existing clients in using the currency to settle traditional assets and payments in the upcoming weeks.
However, according to the patent, the cryptographic currency protocol developed by Goldman Sachs is not entirely decentralized. It grants administrators with a certain level of control needed to control and regulate transactions, settlement of assets and transfer of value.