Morgan Stanley, one of the largest investment banks in the United States, will make bitcoin funds available to its wealth management clients. The wealth management divisions of Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and Bank of America do not currently allow their advisors to provide direct investment in bitcoin funds.
Morgan Stanley has become the “first major U.S. bank to give its wealth management clients access to bitcoin funds,” according to CNBC. Morgan Stanley has $4 trillion in client assets.
According to the newspaper, which quoted people with direct knowledge of the matter, the firm reportedly told its financial advisors in an internal memo that it is launching access to three funds that allow exposure to bitcoin. Clients also demanded exposure to cryptocurrencies, according to the sources, who added “Clients will be able to invest as soon as next month after the bank’s financial advisors have completed training courses related to the new products”.
Galaxy Digital offers two bitcoin funds: the Galaxy Bitcoin Fund LP and the Galaxy Institutional Bitcoin Fund LP. The FS NYDIG Select Fund is the third, a collaboration between asset manager FS Investments and New York Digital Investments Group (NYDIG). Stone Ridge Asset Management’s bitcoin investment arm is the latter. The minimum investment in two of the funds is $25,000, but the Galaxy Institutional Bitcoin Fund needs a $5 million minimum.
According to the sources, the funds are only open to Morgan Stanley wealth management customers, and contributions are limited to 2.5 percent of the client’s overall net worth. To qualify, clients must have at least $2 million in assets held by the company with a “aggressive risk tolerance,” while investment funds must have at least $5 million in cash.
Other major U.S. investment banks’ wealth management divisions, including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and Bank of America, do not currently authorise their advisors to offer direct investment in bitcoin funds, according to the news source.
“We are excited to partner with Morgan Stanley, the first US bank to provide access to bitcoin for their wealth management clients,” Galaxy Digital CEO Mike Novogratz and NYDIG both tweeted.
Bitcoiners applaud Morgan Stanley’s move, praising the investment bank for its position in getting bitcoin into the mainstream. “Morgan Stanley is the first bank to sell bitcoin, but they will not be the last,” wrote Microstrategy CEO Michael Saylor. “Today is the day the major banks joined bitcoin,” said economist Saifedean Ammous, author of The Bitcoin Standard. Anthony Pompliano, a Morgan Creek Digital partner, stated “Using the largest US brokerage, Galaxy Digital and NYDIG will onboard millions of people to bitcoin. Morgan Stanley has joined the fray. Bitcoin’s presence is unavoidable”.