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Goldman Sachs Predicts Approving Spot Bitcoin ETF to Deliver Institutional Investors to Crypto

Goldman Sachs’s outlook on the anticipated approval of spot crypto exchange-traded funds (ETFs) predicts greater institutional interest in digital assets. The digital assets head Mathew McDermott foresees the US regulator’s potential authorisation of bids to offer spot Bitcoin ETF, which will stimulate an uptick in cryptocurrencies among institutional investors. 

McDermott foresees that approving the spot crypto ETF would accelerate the development of tokenisation marketplaces globally in 2024. Such a move is possible given that institutional investors can tap the regulated channel to realise exposure to Bitcoin without exercising ownership rights. 

Spot Bitcoin Approval to Trigger Institutional Investors and Capital into Crypto Space

McDermott observes that spot Bitcoin ETF broadens and deepens the source of liquidity in the segment, particularly from the inflow of institutional capital. The digital assets head at the investment banking company said that the influx of institutional investors is possible since the spot crypto ETF is tradeable by parties without necessitating touching the bare asset. 

In the Wednesday interview with Fox Business, McDermott revealed that that spot Bitcoin ETF approval would open up insurers and pension universes. Nonetheless, the crypto assets head ruled out the approval, realising immediate transformation. Instead, there would arise a gradual shift over the course of 2024. 


McDermott hailed the growing interest in the traditional financial (TradFi) titans, including Fidelity Investments and BlackRock, which is submitting bids for the spot Bitcoin ETFs. The Wall Street giants are among the 14 firms that await the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to give green light to their bids. 

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McDermott pointed out the growing optimism among investors, echoing Cathie Wood’s pronouncement in her interview with CNBC on Tuesday, December 26. The chief executive of Ark Invest hailed the engagements SEC had with representatives of various applicants, labelling such as fruitful dialogue that edges closer to having the elusive spot Bitcoin ETF.

Beyond spot Bitcoin ETFs, McDermott is optimistic of digital assets market growth in 2024. He attributes the growth to a likely increase in the commercial adoption of blockchain amid widespread participation of TradFi institutions in the sector since mid-2022. 

McDermott illustrated the likely uptake of tokenisation, foreseeing that the development of such markets is inevitable in 2024. The executive hailed the signs of scale adoption, particularly from the investors’ buy side. 

McDermott explained that the tokenisation trend will trigger the emergence of secondary liquidity on various chains, thus a critical enabler. The additional liquidity will constitute the primary developments in 2014. 

Goldman Sachs’ Tokenization Platform Exhibits Commercial Value

McDermott’s optimism about tokenisation marketplaces aligns with Goldman Sachs’s prediction when unveiling the tokenisation platform at the onset of 2023. The platform identified as GS DAP constitutes a private blockchain already utilised by Hong Kong in selling $102M tokenised green bonds. 

McDermott illustrated that tokenisation technology is bound to enhance collateral mobility, particularly in solving the financial plumbing challenges arising in 2024. 

McDermott decried that collateral mobility suffers multiple inefficiencies given that it hails from decades-old systems. He explained that tokenisation will likely overcome custody fragmentation, inadequate settlement synchronisation and inefficient capital usage. 

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McDermott demonstrated that though Goldman Sachs utilises tokenisation on a micro-level, the activity efficiently illustrates commercial value. 

McDermott vouched for tokenisation viability in the broader market, given its capability to lower risks, reduce operational settlement and jump risk in collateral allocation. 

Goldman Sachs Proactive in Expanding Digital Assets Team

McDermott indicated during the GS DAP launch that the tokenisation platform reduces settlement time from five days to a single day after the trade. During the interview with Fox Business, he reiterated its viability, revealing GS DAP interoperability to accommodate other assets including fund units, private equity and derivatives

McDermott foresees 2024 as a period of tokenisation expansion into the vanilla asset classes and later into the opaque asset classes as end-of-year approaches. Such understanding portrays Goldman’s proactive preparedness in assembling a 70-member digital asset unit. McDermott was open to additions to the team with four members when he assumed reign in 2020. 

Editorial credit: Sergei Elagin / 

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Stephen Causby

Stephen Causby is an experienced crypto journalist who writes for Tokenhell. He is passionate for coverage in crypto news, blockchain, DeFi, and NFT.

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