Morgan Stanley, a Wall Street investment bank, has gotten exposure to Bitcoin (BTC) through Grayscale, indicating that institutional adoption of digital assets is growing.
Morgan Stanley Owns 28k Shares
According to a June 28 filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the Morgan Stanley Europe Opportunity Fund, which invests in established and growing firms across Europe, owned 28,298 shares of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, or GBTC, as of April 30. Morgan Stanley’s exposure is worth about $840,000 at the current GBTC price of $29.68.
The exposure was worth over $1.3 million at the end of April, according to the filing.
Morgan Stanley’s Europe Opportunity Fund is designed to seek maximum capital appreciation by investing in assets that “the investment team believes are undervalued at the time of purchase.”
Grayscale is by far the world’s largest crypto asset manager, with $29 billion in assets under management. The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust accounts for the lion’s share of assets at over $21.7 billion.
06/25/21 UPDATE: Net Assets Under Management, Holdings per Share, and Market Price per Share for our Investment Products.
— Grayscale (@Grayscale) June 25, 2021
Despite a history of disparaging the flagship cryptocurrency, the investment banking behemoth has changed its tune and become one of its most vocal Wall Street advocates. It confirmed that its institutional funds may be given a 25% stake in the bitcoin markets. The investments will act as a hedge against stock and bond market bearishness.
Morgan Stanley stated in May that three cryptocurrency-enabled products would be available to its high-net-worth clients. The company is also said to be in talks to buy Bithumb, a South Korean bitcoin exchange. While some companies such as MicroStrategy, Tesla and Square have opted to hold cryptocurrencies on their balance sheets in lieu of cash, others have looked to take advantage of the growing demand for investment solutions. New crypto-based financial products are undoubtedly on the rise.
Related article | JP Morgan Builds Basket Of Companies With Bitcoin Exposure
The Investment Banking Giant Opened To Direct Exposure
Morgan Stanley has been looking for more direct exposure to Bitcoin this year. In April, a financial institution increased its Bitcoin exposure to 12 investment vehicles, with grayscale and cash settlements. The European Opportunity Fund was not listed as a prospective Bitcoin investment target at the time. The firm does, however, have many “opportunity” portfolios for Asian and global markets.
Morgan Stanley led the $48 million Series B funding of Securitize, a tokenization platform supported by Coinbase, earlier this month. It was Morgan Stanley’s first capital investment in blockchain.
Not only could this change the shape of Morgan Stanley’s product in the future, as more and more corporations pile into Bitcoin, it could be the catalyst that sends the price per coin to hundreds of thousands, if not more since the fall below $40k.
Related article | A Recap of the Billionaires That Are Big Fans of Bitcoin
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