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Morgan Stanley increases its exposure to crypto currencies

written by Bella Palmer

In recent months, Morgan Stanley has been one of many financial institutions that have been increasingly active in the crypto space

Leading investment bank Morgan Stanley has once again deepened its crypto bet through Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC). The megabank had been invested in crypto through the trust for a while now across various funds.

Specifically, filings from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) show that, in the third quarter, Morgan Stanley funds added millions of GBTC shares of Bitcoin.

In recent months, Morgan Stanley has been one of many financial institutions that have been increasingly active in the crypto space.

In a tweet from MacroScope, it was pointed out that the megabank had not only deepened its bet but had widened it through exposure in bitcoin by spreading the holdings across additional funds.

The largest Morgan Stanley funds with stakes in the Bitcoin Trust saw an increase that drove their shareholdings into the millions. Numbers show that each of the top three funds had grown their holdings in Grayscale Bitcoin Trust by at least 50%.

The Growth Portfolio recorded the largest addition of shares as over one million shares had been added over a three-month period.

Growth Portfolio grew from 2,130,153 shares to 3,642,118 shares. Insight Fund grew its holdings from 928,051 shares to 1,520,549 shares. While the Global Opportunity fund now sits at 1,463,714 shares, up over 500,000 shares from its 919,805 number at the end of June.

These funds help the wealth manager provide crypto exposure for its clients without having to actually hold any bitcoin on its balance sheets. The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust also boasts investments from leading investment firms such as Cathie Wood’s ARK Invest.

Morgan Stanley has always looked favourably towards the asset class when it comes to the big U.S. banks. In March 2021, the bank became the first major U.S. bank to offer bitcoin exposure to its clients. It gave its clients a way to access the booming crypto industry through bitcoin funds, although the service was reserved for the wealthy clients of the wealth manager.

Away from its GBTC investment, the company is making other inroads into the crypto industry as it announced a crypto-research department that would be focused on how the firm can tap into the ‘growing significance of cryptocurrencies and other digital assets in global markets.’


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