Goldman Sachs Makes The First OTC Bitcoin Trade

The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) executed its first over-the-counter (OTC) crypto trade through its trading partner Galaxy Digital Holdings Ltd. (GLXY).1 This is the first such transaction by a major U.S. bank.

The Bitcoin trade executed by Goldman is a non-deliverable option (NDO), also known as a cash-settled option.

Goldman’s transaction marks a departure from the company’s earlier digital trades for the derivatives marketplace CME Group and indicates its willingness to assume the added risk that comes with an OTC trade.2 An OTC trade is executed directly between counterparties without using a centralized exchange.

Key Takeaways

  • Goldman executed the first Bitcoin OTC trade, marking further institutional adoption of cryptocurrencies.
  • The non-deliverable option, faciliated by Goldman trading partner Galaxy, will settle as cash at maturity.
  • Bitcoin has been seen as an inflation hedge; Goldman’s first BTC OTC trade comes as inflation is spiking worldwide.

Goldman Sachs’ Partnership With Galaxy Digital

The Galaxy as its liquidity provider for cryptocurrencies in the spot market, futures, and digital assets exchanges, and for transactions with fiat banking organizations.
3 In June 2021, Goldman called on Galaxy to launch its Bitcoin futures trading product for the CME Group. The digital currency Ethereum (ETH) through Galaxy’s Ethereum Fund.

The Bottom Line

This first OTC crypto execution in the context of climbing inflation raises the question of whether Bitcoin is an effective hedge against inflation. Frequently labelled as “digital gold,”.
Bitcoin’s absolute limit of 21 million is meant to offset depreciation of fiat currency. By executing an OTC trade and using Galaxy as the liquidity provider for its crypto options trade, Goldman is making direct customizable trading in crypto possible for investors for the first time.
The other hand, this trading is done as cash-settled options, it may offset Bitcoin’s supposed ability hedge against the depreciation of fiat currency.