In the time since its introduction nearly a decade ago, bitcoin and the rest of the digital currencies in general have gone from being ignored and derided by the mainstream financial community to a time now where crypto is being shamelessly co-opted by many Wall Street firms.
Last month Goldman Sachs stirred excitement within the crypto community when it confirmed reports that it was in the middle of opening a crypto trading desk. The confirmation was coming barely one year after Goldman Sach CEO Lloyd Blankfein slammed bitcoin, describing it as a vehicle for fraud.
And while the sudden change of position by one of the biggest investment banks on Wall Street may have may have left many surprised, veteran crypto analyst Teeka Tiwari says it is yet another example of the hypocrisy within the traditional financial establishment.
According to Tiwari, despite shunning digital assets and warning their customers against it, major Wall Street firms are secretly working to dominate the future of the crypto market. He then revealed that several of these firms have in fact gone on to roll out crypto products despite previously slamming the industry.
“On December 13, 2017, Julius Baer—a very old, famous, and important investment banking firm in Switzerland—came out and said, ‘Stay away from bitcoin and crypto!’ It even had a whole thing on its website that was extremely negative about cryptocurrency. In fact, the chief investment officer of Julius Baer said that bitcoin was ‘from the Stone Age and unsuitable for an investment portfolio.’”
Well fast forward to one year later and it has emerged that Julius Baer is coming out with its own crypto product for clients.
“So again and again, we’re seeing this hypocrisy at work. It’s easy to denigrate a product that you don’t have any kind of financial stake in. Why would traditional Wall Street firms talk positively about a product that they’re not making any money off of and could potentially put them out of business? They wouldn’t—at least, not until they’ve positioned themselves in order to profit from that market,” Tiwari offered.
In a similar development, the ICE/NYSE owned Bakkt exchange is scheduled to launch in November and ahead of the launch date, Google has announced a reversal of its earlier ban on crypto advertisements on its platform. According to the search engine giant, it would now only allow ads from what it describes as ‘regulated exchanges’, which is basically what Bakkt is.
Tiwari however hints about a possible collusion between Wall Street and Google.
“You’ve got the most important ad platform in the world creating a moat that nobody else can get around. Unless you’ve spent millions and millions of dollars creating a regulated exchange, you can’t advertise anything bitcoin-related. It’s basically just a gift to the banks and brokers. It’s like saying, ‘Okay, guys. Here you go. Go spend a bunch of money with us, and you can grab all this market share.’”
And while the growing adoption of crypto by the financial establishment may reek of hypocrisy, it is indeed a welcome development. As increased adoption comes with increased investor confidence and price gains.
Tiwari however frowned at the possibility of bitcoin losing its decentralized nature if it gets concentrated in the hands of Wall Street heavyweights but then he submits that early-bird crypto investors and those who seize the opportunity to enter the market, especially now that crypto prices are down, would be strategically positioned to profit from the well-documented greed of Wall Street.