Goldman Sachs Tower in Jersey City, New Jersey
Goldman Sachs Tower in Jersey City, New Jersey, photographed in 2014. Richard F. Ebert/Encircle Photos

On August 6, CNBC reported that Goldman Sachs made Mathew McDermott, who previously ran the bank’s internal funding operations, global head of digital assets. The 46-year-old veteran replaced Justin Schmidt last month, with the latter stepping down from this position after running Goldman’s digital assets team since 2018.

According to official information, the bank will also allow McDermott to double the members of his team, hiring new people from Asia and Europe. Moreover, he has managed to lure former head of digital assets strategy at JPMorgan Chase, Oli Harris, who was involved in the creation of the first digital coin issued by a major bank, the JPM coin.

McDermott resides in London and is known to have a near radical vision for financial markets. His beliefs are that, in the future, most of the financial assets will be controlled through electronic ledgers. In his first interview after being appointed to the position, McDermott publicly expressed some of his thoughts:


“In the next five to 10 years, you could see a financial system where all assets and liabilities are native to a blockchain, with all transactions natively happening on chain,” he said. “So what you’re doing today in the physical world, you just do digitally, creating huge efficiencies. And that can be debt issuances, securitization, loan origination; essentially you’ll have a digital financial markets ecosystem, the options are pretty vast.”

McDermott’s appointment marks one of the first big steps towards broader global blockchain adoption. He believes that distributed ledger technology could bring definitive success to Goldman Sachs and promises to work towards the realization of the firm’s new blockchain endeavors.

“We’ve definitely seen an uptick in interest across some of our institutional clients who are exploring how they can participate in this space. It definitely feels like there is a resurgence of interest in cryptocurrencies.”