Wall Street appears to be warming to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
Investment firm Goldman Sachs plans to create a trading desk to handle digital currencies by the middle of next year, Bloomberg News reported Thursday, citing sources described as familiar with the company's strategy. However, concerns over how to secure the assets persist, one source told the news agency.
"In response to client interest in digital currencies, we are exploring how best to serve them," a Goldman spokesman said in a statement.
The move would make Goldman Sachs one of first major Wall Street firms to create a market for cryptocurrencies, which have grown wildly popular in recent weeks with the skyrocketing valuation of Bitcoin. The cryptocurrency traded at nearly $20,000 per coin on Sunday, nearly double its value three weeks ago when it had yet to surpass the $10,000 threshold.
Bitcoin is currently trading at $14,964, according to data from digital currency information site CoinDesk. Bitcoin's market capitalization stands at $248 billion, CoinDesk reports, greater than the vast majority of S&P 500 companies, including Dow 30 components Boeing, Disney and GE.
The cryptocurrency, which made a name for itself by allowing for anonymous transactions, has experienced a massive run in 2017. On Jan. 1 this year, bitcoin was priced at just under $1,000. Still, the cryptocurrency's lack of government backing and regulation has led to volatility.
The skyrocketing value has also attracted some of the more nefarious elements of the internet. A handful of cryptocurrency concerns have fallen victim to security breaches, including marketplace NiceHash, which earlier this month revealed that, making off with digital currency reportedly worth more $60 million.
Regulators are also warning of the dangers associated with investing in virtual currencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin. Jay Clayton, chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission,earlier this month that cryptocurrency and initial coin offerings (ICOs) hold substantially less investor protection than traditional securities markets, creating an environment ripe for scams and market manipulation.
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