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Markets Report: Bitcoin price hits $59K after Morgan Stanley rumors flood media

Claims which first appeared in CNBC point to Morgan Stanley becoming the first major bank to offer Bitcoin fund exposure

Bitcoin rose beyond $59,000 on March 18 thanks to news that a major bank is finally providing exposure to investors.

Data from price trackers including CoinGecko and Tradingview showed upside momentum kicking in overnight for BTC/USD, which hit local highs of $59,320.

Sources: Morgan Stanley to do Bitcoin from next month

After a lingering closer to $50,000 support, Bitcoin saw a boost as mainstream media reported a market entry soon to come from Morgan Stanley. According to unnamed sources talking to CNBC, the bank will provide wealthy clients with $2 million or more in assets exposure to three Bitcoin funds. 

These funds, two of which come from Galaxy Digital and one from NYDIG, have themselves made headlines in recent months in the face of rising institutional involvement in Bitcoin.

“Clients can likely make investments as early as next month, after the bank’s financial advisors complete training courses tied to the new offerings,” CNBC reported the sources as saying.

As Modern Consensus reported, this week was tipped by NYDIG CEO Robby Gutmann to be the start of “game-changing” announcements regarding institutional Bitcoin adoption being made public.

Commentators welcomed the Morgan Stanley news, with some suggesting that it underscores the longevity of Bitcoin’s current price bull run.

“The world’s largest banks are on the brink of properly entering crypto for the first time and people are unironically trying to say $62k might have been the top for Bitcoin,” entrepreneur Alistair Milne reacted on Twitter. 

“Not. Even. Close.”

Morgan Stanley represents the first such major bank to offer its clients such direct exposure to Bitcoin. Not all institutions are on the same page, as Bank of America this week showed with accusations that Bitcoin lacked underlying value. 

In a report quoted by Business Insider, analysts claimed that there is “no good reason to own bitcoin unless you see prices going up,” and that its benefits such as protection against inflation and portfolio diversification in fact do not exist.

No definitive breakout for Bitcoin

On spot markets, newfound strength for BTC/USD did little to change the overall status quo, as Bitcoin was still moving within a defined range. All-time highs of $61,700 also remained untested.

BTC/USD avoids further tests of $50,000. Source: Tradingview

“This entire region between $60,400 and $59,000 is a resistance zone for the current price… I’m not assuming that we’ll break through it,” popular trader Michaël van de Poppe said in his latest YouTube update on Thursday. 

“I’m assuming that we’ll fail to break through it and get a new drop down again, in which we get into ‘chop season.’”

Van de Poppe added that $57,000 was the “crucial level” for support to hold on lower timeframes, with a failure set to return BTC/USD to more consistent support at $55,000. 

“Thanks for the free pump Jerome,” fellow trader Josh Rager summarized in more positive words which referenced the ongoing $1,400 stimulus check handouts via the Federal Reserve as part of a $1.9 trillion coroanvirus spending package.

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Anthony Bevan is a journalist focusing on disruptive finance and cryptocurrency, along with the changing face of the market as Bitcoin gains mainstream adoption. Journalists covering cryptocurrency for Modern Consensus May hold positions in some of the currencies they write about.