NEW YORK (BLOOMBERG) - Morgan Stanley plans to offer wealthy clients access to three funds that will enable ownership of bitcoin, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Galaxy Digital runs two of the funds, and the third is overseen by FS Investments and NYDIG, the person said, asking not to be identified because the move hasn't been announced publicly.
Only wealthy clients with "an aggressive risk tolerance" and at least US$2 million (S$2.7 million) held by the New York-based firm will have access to the funds. CNBC reported the decision earlier on Wednesday (March 17).
Wall Street banks have stayed mostly on the sidelines as cryptocurrencies surged in popularity. While futures contracts based on bitcoin and ether, the second-largest digital currency, are available at major exchanges, none of the six biggest US banks have until now offered their customers access.
Morgan Stanley chief executive officer James Gorman was one of the first Wall Street leaders to lend credence to bitcoin, saying in 2017 that it was more than just a fad. The firm flirted with the idea of trading a swap-based product tied to the cryptocurrency that could give clients synthetic exposure to the coin, but it ultimately didn't proceed.
Morgan Stanley's head of digital-asset markets, Andrew Peel, has said in recent months the bank has fielded more interest in bitcoin from traditional financial firms.