Wall Street’s embrace of digital assets shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, they don’t even have to tell us about it because the proof is in the fine print. This week, a filing by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) revealed that multinational investment bank Goldman Sachs is quietly offering clients exposure to Ether (ETH) through Galaxy Digital, a crypto-focused financial services firm headed by billionaire Mike Novogratz.
Of course, this isn’t the first time Goldman has partnered with Galaxy Digital to provide customers with a gateway to digital assets. In June 2021, the investment giant in partnership with Galaxy Digital began trading a Bitcoin (BTC) futures project. Like other financial services giants, Goldman Sachs sees the writing on the wall and realizes that crypto is an emerging asset class with long-term potential. That or its clients really want to invest in crypto.
This week’s Crypto Biz newsletter features classic storylines about a major Wall Street bank expanding its crypto offerings and continuing to pump hundreds of millions of dollars in venture capital into blockchain startups. We also dive deeper into Binance’s new crypto-to-fiat gateway.
Goldman Sachs Connects Clients to Galaxy Digital’s ETH Fund
According to regulatory documents filed with the SEC, Goldman Sachs has already begun offering ETH investments to its clients through Galaxy Digital, potentially opening the door to wider institutional adoption of digital assets. The Form D filing by Galaxy Digital listed Goldman Sachs as a recipient of introductory fees for referring customers to the Galaxy ETH Fund. According to the filing, Goldman will accept a “minimum investment” of $250,000 per client for exposure to the investment product. Interestingly, the filing just two days after Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman’s senior chairman, appeared on the SEC’s website, tweeting that he is “keeping an open mind about crypto.”
With an open mind about crypto, but given the rising US dollar and the stark reminder that under certain circumstances governments can and will freeze accounts and block payments, wouldn’t you think crypto would be having a moment now? Don’t see it in the price so far….
— Lloyd Blankfein (@lloydblankfein) March 7, 2022
Bain Capital Ventures is setting up a half-billion dollar fund for crypto projects
The crypto economy has received renewed interest from the venture capital community after Bain Capital Ventures, a Massachusetts-based wealth management firm, announced the creation of a $560 million fund for blockchain startups. According to Bloomberg, the company has already invested $100 million in 12 secret projects. CoinTelegraph managed to get hold of a representative from Bain Capital Ventures, who informed us that the crypto fund is focused on supporting open internet infrastructure – that probably means Web3. I’ve been shouting from the roof for the past six months that venture capital financing is changing the makeup of the crypto industry. Leaving aside price gains for crypto assets, VC capital inflows are one of the most bullish indicators we have for the industry right now.
Binance focuses on crypto payments with new subsidiary Bifinity
As the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, Binance has many resources to meet the ever-expanding needs of the digital asset community. This week, Changpeng Zhao-led company unveiled Bifinity, a new fiat-to-crypto payment platform that allows merchants to offer crypto services to their customers. Bifinity has already partnered with crypto-focused platforms such as Safepal and Zilliqa, as well as payment solutions Paysafe and Checkout.com. Binance has been exploring fiat gateways since 2020 and only recently completed its acquisition of Swipe, a leading provider of crypto Visa cards. (I’ll be honest though, the partnership with Zilliqa — a blockchain sharding developer — was a bit surprising.)
Andreessen Horowitz Invests $70 Million in Ethereum Strike Protocol Lido
Andreessen Horowitz, a Silicon Valley venture firm, has taken another big leap in the cryptocurrency market by investing $70 million in Ethereum staking solution Lido Finance. The cash injection will be used by Lido’s developers to further support the adoption of staking solutions on Ethereum 2.0, which has been renamed as the consensus layer. Andreessen likes Lido because the protocol makes it easier for users to deploy Ether without having to pass the 32 ETH threshold to become a network validator. While 32 ETH wasn’t much a few years ago, it will now cost you close to $90,000 at current prices.
Excited to share that @a16z has invested $70 million in @LidoFinance, one of the easiest ways to stake ETH and other PoS assets, and we used Lido to stake some of our ETH shares in the Beacon chain. More of @DarenMatsuoka † @_PorterSmith† https://t.co/vc2tzDJ3mS
— cdixon.eth (@cdixon) March 3, 2022
Before you go…
The Terra ecosystem continues to generate a lot of buzz in the cryptocurrency community. This week, the network’s native token Terra (LUNA) hit new all-time highs after rallying 30% in just three days. The latest edition of The market report took a deep dive into emerging Terra ecosystem projects. You can watch the replay to learn about exciting projects like StarTerra, Loop Finance, and Mirror Protocol.
Crypto Biz is your weekly pulse of the company behind blockchain and crypto delivered straight to your inbox every Thursday.