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Morgan Stanley opens Bitcoin investments to wealth clients: Report

Morgan Stanley is the first major global bank to offer its wealth management clients access to buy and trade Bitcoins, CNBC reported. With Bitcoin prices soaring over the last few months, crypto-currency investments are gaining institutional acceptance by global financial companies.

According to unnamed sources, in an internal memo the bank said that it plans to give its clients access to three funds to invest in Bitcoins. Morgan Stanley’s decision to provide access to Bitcoin funds comes after some of the banks’ wealthier clients demanded such a facility. According to the report, the bank will offer access to the three funds to clients with “an aggressive risk tolerance” and who have at least $2 million in assets with the firm.

The three funds on offer include: Galaxy Bitcoin Fund LP, Galaxy Institutional Bitcoin Fund LP  and joint-venture between asset manager FS Investments and bitcoin company NYDIG, the report said. Morgan Stanley will limit the Bitcoin investments to just 2.5% of the banks’ net worth.

In early February this year, Tesla Inc. bought around $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoins and said that it would start accepting payments in the crypto-currency. This was a significant development as Tesla became the first automobile manufacturer to bet on the crypto-currency. Last year, both VISA and Mastercard announced partnerships with crypto-exchnages and firms to launch crypto-cards last year.

Other major corporations that have bought Bitcoins, as part of their treasury operations, include Micro Strategy Inc., Square Inc., FRMO Corp. and MOGO Financing Ltd, according to Bitcoin Treasuries. Together, listed companies and private companies own around $29.3 billion worth of Bitcoins and together with exchange-traded-funds, they own over $79.6 billion in Bitcoins or 7.3% of the total Bitcoin market.

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MediaNama has prepared a guide on crypto-currency regulations in India, listing the government’s position over the last few years and various policy recommendations; read it here: A complete low-down on crypto-currency regulation in India

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Reports on banking, payments, fintech and crypto-curencies. Additional reporting on media regulations, data protection and other areas.

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