First. Morgan Stanley has become the first big US bank to offer its clients access to Bitcoin funds. Only wealthier clients have access to the volatile asset, but it’s a start.
Competing institutions like Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and Bank of America currently do not allow advisors at their wealth management divisions to offer direct Bitcoin investments — this may change soon with institutional money pouring in.
As reported, Morgan Stanly is a giant in wealth management, with $4 trillion in client assets.
The bank told its financial advisors in an internal memo sent Wednesday that it is launching access to three funds that enable ownership of Bitcoin. People close to the matter say that this development is a result of clients demanding exposure to the cryptocurrency.
The move is a significant step for the acceptance of the world’s most popular digital currency as an asset class, as Wall Street firms come under pressure to get involved with Bitcoin.
For now, at least, Morgan Stanley is only allowing wealthier clients access to the volatile asset.
The bank considers it suitable for people with an aggressive risk tolerance, who have at least $2 million in assts held by the firm. Investment firms, meanwhile, need at least $5 million at the bank to quality. In either case, the accounts have to be at least six months old.
And even then, for accredited US investors with brokerage accounts and enough assets to qualify, Morgan Stanley is limiting investments to as much as 2.5% of their total net worth.
Clients can make investments as early as next month, after the financial advisors at the bank complete their training courses tied to the new offerings.
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