Goldman Sachs Reportedly Keen to Forge Ties With FTX


Key Takeaways

Goldman Sachs and FTX executives reportedly met in March to discuss ways they could potentially collaborate.
Goldman was reportedly eager to advise FTX on a number of issues, including talks with U.S. regulators and potentially going public.
The two firms also reportedly discussed collaborating on future market-making in crypto.

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Banking giant Goldman Sachs and crypto exchange FTX are reportedly looking to strengthen their relations.

Goldman, FTX Weigh Future Collaboration 

Goldman Sachs may soon be getting into bed with FTX.

According to a Thursday Financial Times report, the American banking giant’s CEO David Solomon met with FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried in the Caribbean last month to discuss potential ways the two firms could strengthen their business relations. Citing sources familiar with the matter, the report said that Solomon was eager to advise FTX on future funding rounds and was keen to see whether the banking giant could play a role in the exchange’s potential IPO. 

The two executives also reportedly discussed Goldman advising the crypto startup on its discussions with U.S. regulators, specifically with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which plays a critical role in regulating the crypto markets alongside the Securities Exchange Commission. Goldman’s push to foster closer ties with the fastest-growing crypto exchange in the industry, now valued at around $32 billion, aligns with its recent push to expand its presence in the digital assets space. In 2021, Goldman took clear steps to embrace Bitcoin as a new asset class, offering over-the-counter crypto trading services and launching an in-house crypto trading desk.

FTX, meanwhile, seems keen on fostering relations with high-profile politicians and the big shots of the traditional finance world that crypto was initially created to disrupt. Earlier this month, it stirred outrage within crypto’s Libertarian-leaning community for inviting former British prime minister Tony Blair and former U.S. President Bill Clinton—husband of the fervently anti-crypto presidential candidate Hillary Clinton—to speak on crypto at a forthcoming conference it is hosting alongside crypto lender SALT.

According to today’s report, Goldman has also considered a potential future collaboration with FTX on market-making in crypto and discussed providing banking services to the exchange. Due to crypto’s still-uncertain global regulatory status, incumbent banks have traditionally been hesitant to bank crypto service providers. However, that trend seems to have begun reversing, with an increasing number of big banks looking to service the growing industry to secure additional revenue. 

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this article owned ETH and several other cryptocurrencies.

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