Multinational investment banking outfit Goldman Sachs has reportedly released a document with an early assessment of bitcoin — a reponse to requests from their clients. This is according to tech blog TechCrunch, who notes that the document was “acquired through a source close to the bank”.
The document reportedly states that “2013 was the year when Bitcoin became a mainstay in mass media, to the extent that it has become hard to separate the effect of hype surrounding the currency from its fundamentals.”
It rings true. Bitcoin caught the attention of the mainstream media first in April 2013, when the price exceeded $200 per unit. A second, more lasting round of media hype and attention occurred when the price per bitcoin surpassed $1200 at the Mt. Gox exchange in November.
On the topic of using bitcoin as an investment vehicle, the firm outlines that one can either speculate on the price (which if you weren’t already aware is responsible for price volatility), mine bitcoin themselves, or provide value-add services to the bitcoin community for a fee.
“As a full suite of financial services build up around Bitcoin, there will be numerous (mostly commission- based) revenue opportunities investors can focus on, including providing exchanges, wallets, payment processing, lending, derivatives and other services,” they say.
Goldman Sachs isn’t entirely confident on the topic of adoption of bitcoin, saying that “despite media coverage and current trading levels, bitcoin remains orders of magnitude away from widespread adoption.”
Looking at bitcoin in the long term, Goldman says that “We are currently in the first innings of a shift to natively digital transactions,” which hardly anyone in the bitcoin community would disagree with, certainly.
“Bitcoin may emerge as the reigning standard, or others may compete for the crown,” the company states.
Check out TechCrunch’s piece on the matter (no full report available, as far as we’re aware — just tidbits). What do you make of it?