Investment banking firm Goldman Sachs is looking to add staff to its digital assets team, with openings posted for three new international hires.
These openings come at a time when the company is also reportedly planning to move forward with a “modest number of layoffs” — around 400 positions per a Reuters report. If true, this would account for about one percent of the bank’s total workforce.
Goldman, which re-worked the structure of its digital assets team earlier in 2020, is looking for a vice president in the UK and two research and development software engineers in Singapore.
Goldman Growing its Blockchain Team
The team, responsible for “defining and executing Goldman Sachs’ blockchain efforts firmwide,” currently consists of about ten people. The most notable recent additions to the team include Oli Harris, the figure behind JPMorgan Chase’s Quorum blockchain, and Mathew McDermott, a 15-year Goldman veteran who was promoted in August to become the firm’s new global head of digital assets.
In particular, McDermott’s appointment may represent a slight shift in strategy, from building out a cryptocurrency trading operation to building crypto applications tied to financial markets. McDermott was promoted in place of Justin Schmidt, a former cryptocurrency trader hired by the bank in 2018.
The announcement that Goldman is scaling up its blockchain staff is a signal that the bank is taking a more proactive approach to crypto-assets, despite shaky economic times. The hiring developments also appear to run counter to some of the firm’s past pronouncements.
As previously reported by BeInCrypto, in an investors’ call in May, analysts from the firm stated that Bitcoin was not a “suitable investment.” Claiming that it provides no cash flow, does not show evidence of being a hedge against inflation, and does not provide portfolio diversification.