Goldman Sachs bank announced this week that it is considering launching a new trading venture that would center Bitcoin, the popular digital currency, in its operations. The company has not committed to any bitcoin-based ventures, and research is only in the early stages, according to CNBC.

“In response to client interest in digital currencies, we are exploring how best to serve them in the space,” said Tiffany Galvin, Goldman Sachs spokeswoman on Monday, according to Bloomberg.

Bitcoin more than just a fad

Last week, Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman said in an interview with Wall Street Journal that bitcoin was “more than just a fad,” given its performance in the past year.

And a former Goldman Sachs trader, Mike Novogratz, has pledged to begin a $500 million hedge fund dedicated to bolstering cryptocurrencies and related companies.

Multiple Wall Street companies have already begun research into blockchain technology, the force that allows bitcoin to exist. Goldman Sachs has already funded Axoni, a startup to bring blockchain technology to financial firms, and every major bank has unveiled some sort of proof of concept for blockchain technology, according to Business Insider. The technology would be more cost-efficient and would help banks replace antiquated infrastructure.

However, Goldman Sachs is ahead of its competitors in exploring the actual cryptocurrency in small business financing, which many banks have shunned as a temporary fad and a waste of money.

Last month, JP Morgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon threatened to fire any employees trading bitcoin for being “stupid,” calling the cryptocurrency a “fraud,” according to Bloomberg.

Matthew Goetz, a former Goldman Sachs vice president and managing partner at a cryptocurrency investment firm, told CNBC that it behooves firms to get involved in cryptocurrency, “given the number of new services and business lines that will stem from it.”

“The smartest Wall Street firms have an opportunity to lead the market in offering financial services to the burgeoning cryptocurrency industry,” he said.

Bitcoin’s prices this year plunged and rose dramatically, at one point growing from roughly $1,000 to more than $5,000. Today it sits at approximately $4,300.

Earlier this year, China banned bitcoin exchanges and the coin’s value plummeted to below $3,000, but it quickly rose back up above $4,000. Experts anticipate its price to rise above $6,000 before the end of the year, according to CNBC.

A volatile year for Bitcoin

Bitcoin has had a particularly volatile year, and most financial experts expect the volatility to continue even as prices rise.

In July, some conflicts about methods of scaling the coin resulted in a fork and a separate bitcoin currency, bitcoin cash, was created. Bitcoin cash increased the size of the blockchains used and rejected the use of a new upgrade called SegWit2X that divided the bitcoin community, according to CNBC.

But despite these changes, classic bitcoin is still doing significantly better. After peaking at around $900, bitcoin cash is currently selling at approximately $400.

However, Thomas Glucksmann, who leads APAC business development at GateCoin told CNBC that another split may be coming in November as a result of continuing disputes related to the use of SegWitX.

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