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    Goldman Expands in Crypto Trading With Plans for Ether Options

    Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is moving beyond the world of Bitcoin and expanding into Ether.

    The bank plans to offer options and futures trading in Ether, the coin that fuels the Ethereum network, in the coming months, according to Mathew McDermott, head of digital assets at Goldman.

    It’s the latest step in the Wall Street giant’s crypto ambitions after Goldman restarted a trading desk this year to help clients deal in publicly traded futures tied to Bitcoin. McDermott said the bank also plans to facilitate trades via exchange-traded notes tracking Bitcoin.

    Despite all the warnings from regulators about the risks posed by crypto’s extreme volatility and role in money laundering, investment banks are stepping up to offer Bitcoin services to their big clients. Even after prices plummeted in May, falling from about $60,000 to $33,000 in a matter of days, hedge funds are still enthusiastic to trade Bitcoin.

    “We’ve actually seen a lot of interest from clients who are eager to trade as they find these levels as a slightly more palatable entry point,” McDermott said in a phone interview on Thursday. “We see it as a cleansing exercise to reduce some of the leverage and the excess in the system, especially from a retail perspective.”

    Goldman tapped McDermott, 47, to head its digital currency efforts last year. Under his watch, the business has grown to 17 people from four.

    Mathew McDermott

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