Morgan Stanley, one of the largest banks in the US, is steadily growing its cryptocurrency exposure through several investment funds and it has announced it is setting up a new cryptocurrency-focused research team.
When launching the crypto-focused team, the bank appointed Sheena Shah as the leading crypto analyst of the team. Before the appointment, Shah was working as the lead currency strategist in Morgan Stanley and she was covering the G10 currencies. She has been working with the bank for more than eight-year and has greatly contributed to the cryptocurrency research effort at the bank.
In the new role, Sheena will focus on examining the effect of cryptocurrencies on fixed-income investments like corporate and treasury bonds and equities.
When breaking the news of the new research division to the staff in a memo, the bank’s executives emphasized that the division was launched following the growing influence of digital assets and cryptocurrencies in the global markets.
This comes just a few months after the bank launched a crypto investment tool for millionaires.
Morgan Stanley’s crypto investment tool for millionaires
In April, Morgan Stanley announced through an internal memo that it would start allowing clients to invest in Bitcoin (BTC) though under specific conditions. It unveiled three funds in the wealth management wing that would enable customers to invest in BTC.
These funds include Galaxy Digital’s Bitcoin Fund LP, FS Investments’ FS New York Digital Investment Group (NYDIG) Select Fund, and Institutional Bitcoin Fund LP. The allocation is however capped at 2.5% of a client’s overall health.
To invest in crypto through these funds, customers should be accredited investors and hold capital of at least $2 million at Morgan Stanley and have a certain maintained account history. Each of the funds also has its set minimum investment conditions.
Other financial institutions have also dived into cryptocurrencies
Morgan Stanley is not the only bank or financial institution that has dived into the cryptocurrency world. Other traditional financial institutions like Goldman Sachs Group and JPMorgan have also rolled out several crypto services including access to crypto funds and cryptocurrency trading services.
JPMorgan, for example, allows its customers access to six crypto funds including investment funds by Grayscale Investments and Osprey Funds. Goldman Sachs Group, on the other hand, has launched Bitcoin derivatives and Ethereum derivatives trading desks to enable its customers to trade Ether and BTC.
State Street, one of the oldest operating banks in the US, also launched a dedicated digital finance division.
Bank of America (BoA), another US bank, also launched a cryptocurrency research division in July this year.
Corporates investing in BTC
Besides banks, several corporations and companies have added Bitcoin (BTC), which is the most valued and most trending cryptocurrency to their balance sheets.
Some of the companies with the largest BTC holdings include Tesla (an electric car manufacturing company), Microstrategy (a company that offers business intelligence, cloud-based services, and mobile software), and Square (financial services and digital payments company).