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The CEO of Goldman Sachs Had a Meeting With the Founder of FTX to Forge Links

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The CEO of Goldman Sachs Had a Meeting With the Founder of FTX to Forge Links

In March, Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon met with FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, a billionaire, to seek ways to strengthen links between the Wall Street bank and the three-year-old cryptocurrency exchange.

Goldman Sachs attempted to convince FTX.

According to those acquainted with the situation, the conference, which took place in the Caribbean, is the latest example of crypto firms’ expanding influence in the traditional financial services sector.

Solomon and Bankman-Fried discussed Goldman aiding FTX in its contacts with US authorities, particularly the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the US derivatives watchdog, also according to the two persons familiar with the situation.

FTX submitted a proposal to the CFTC in March that would allow it to sell leveraged crypto futures to individual investors and settle their deals directly, bypassing middlemen like Goldman Sachs.

Still according to the source of two people familiar with the situation, Goldman is eager to advise the crypto start-up on future funding rounds, and the two CEOs discussed whether the bank may participate in a prospective FTX IPO.

The CEO of Goldman Sachs Had a Meeting With the Founder of FTX to Forge Links

FTX, which was founded by Bankman-Fried, now 30, in Hong Kong in 2019, was valued at $32 billion in January, more than the market capitalizations of Credit Suisse or Deutsche Bank.

Goldman led a syndicate of banks that advised cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase on its Nasdaq list in April of last year, which initially valued it at $85 billion, though its share price has since dropped.

One of the people close to the Goldman meeting said that Bankman-Fried was primarily exploring short-term private fundraising options and had not yet made a final decision on whether to take FTX public.

The third topic of discussion during the meeting was whether Goldman had “future collaboration potential” with FTX on “market-making” in crypto transactions as the Wall Street bank increases its presence in digital asset markets, according to one of the people close to the company.

Solomon and Bankman-Fried also discussed Goldman providing traditional banking services to the exchange. Major lenders have been reluctant to open accounts for cryptocurrency exchanges due to concerns about the nascent regulatory state of the market and the risk of financial crimes such as money laundering.

FTX, which moved its headquarters from Hong Kong to the Bahamas last year, and Goldman Sachs declined to comment on the meeting.

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