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Bitcoin is creating stark divisions on Wall Street

Bitcoin is creating stark divisions on Wall Street


By Mark DeCambre, MarketWatch

Bitcoin bulls and skeptics are making wagers on the future of the digital currency

Bitcoin is now one of the most polarizing topics on Wall Street, crystallizing a clear divide between those who think the digital currency is doomed to end in tears for investors and those who believe it has a bona fide future.

Goldman Sachs (GS) is exploring a new trading platform that would be centered on trading in the No. 1 cryptocurrency in the world and its rivals like Ether, according to The Wall Street Journal (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/goldman-sets-sights-on-bitcoin-trading-platform-2017-10-02).

The report about the cybercurrency-sector plans for Goldman, ran by Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein, comes just a few weeks after the rival J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM) Chief Executive Jamie DImon declared bitcoin "a fraud (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dimon-calls-bitcoin-a-fraud-and-may-have-delivered-the-biggest-blow-to-the-digital-currency-2017-09-12)" that would "eventually blow up." "It's worse than tulip bulbs and won't end well," Dimon said, referring to the classic, 17th century asset bubble (http://time.com/4896942/tulip-fever-history/).

Read: Opinion: Cryptocurrencies are like that bubble in baseball cards in the 1990s (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/before-you-invest-in-cryptocurrencies-recall-the-bubble-in-baseball-cards-in-the-1990s-2017-10-02)

To be sure, J.P. Morgan has also been experimenting with the some of the infrastructure that underpins digital currencies, known as blockchains, or open-sourced, distributed ledgers.

However, the contrasting rhetoric from Dimon, and the positioning by Goldman, highlights the effort by some of the banking universe's behemoths to identify opportunities in nascent digital currencies that have drawn equal parts ire, intrigue and fear-of-missing out among heavyweight investors.

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