Morgan Stanley has acquired over 28,000 shares of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC). Forced and coerced, the giant banks are now forced to dive into Bitcoin (BTC) given the pressure from their customers. Even so, there is still a lot of hesitation.
Over 28,000 GBTC shares for Morgan Stanley
According to Morgan Stanley’s June 28 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Morgan Stanley’s European Opportunity Fund holds 28,289 shares of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, worth $1.3 million, as of April 30, 2021.
An April filing from the bank indicated that it had authorized some of its funds to gain indirect exposure to Bitcoin. Each fund, including the European Opportunity Fund and the Insight Fund, can invest in Bitcoin-related products up to 25 percent of its total assets.
Morgan Stanley has exposed 12 of its investment funds to Bitcoin via GBTC and cash-settled futures contracts as of April 2021. As a reminder, the bank has already completed a $48 million Series B for tokenization platform Securitize.
Bitcoin and the giant banks: a difficult step forward
Most of the banks, or rather their executives, are not yet into Bitcoin. JP Morgan already has one foot in Bitcoin, with a bank about to offer a BTC fund to its clients, but also one foot out, with its CEO, Jamie Dimon, not carrying the king of cryptos in his heart. In May, he expressed once again, the bottom line of his thoughts regarding Bitcoin:
“Something that is backed by nothing is not very valuable, in my opinion.”
JP Morgan is not the only bank with an ambiguous position on Bitcoin. Goldman Sachs has reopened its cryptocurrency trading desk in 2021. The bank is also reportedly planning to offer ether options to its clients. In its May 2021 report, it had recognized Bitcoin as an investable asset, before withdrawing nearly a month after that vote of confidence.
Morgan Stanley has a plan to take full advantage of Bitcoin. Institutional investors have yet to let go of the doyenne of cryptocurrencies. So the bull run has every chance of resuming, although the elder crypto is stuck in the $30,000-40,000 area for now.