In a first by a big bank, international investment bank Morgan Stanley announced that is offering certain wealthy customers access to Bitcoin funds.
According to a March 17 CNBC report, Morgan Stanley will offer funds from Galaxy Digital, FS Investments, and New York Digital Investment Group as part of its wealth management service.
Morgan Stanley, which has $4 trillion in assets under management, reportedly told its financial advisors in an internal memo today that it intends to offer the funds exclusively to customers it feels have “aggressive risk tolerance” as well as at least $2 million on account with the bank. Investment forms will need accounts of at least $5 million to gain access.
The move follows growing demand for exposure to Bitcoin by the bank’s customers as the ongoing Bitcoin bull run puts pressure on many Wall Street firms to adopt the cryptocurrency that is being called digital gold.
That bull run may have gotten a kick from the bank, as news of Bitcoin’s breakthrough into a major bank, combined with the (more significant) news that the Federal Reserve will keep interested rates close to zero as inflation rises—is perfect for a store-of-value that doesn’t lose value like cash does.
As for Morgan Stanley, even accredited U.S. investors with brokerage accounts and enough assets to be able to access those products through Morgan Stanley will be limited to a maximum of 2.5% of their total net worth. Two of the Bitcoin funds are managed by Micheal Novogratz’s crypto bank Galaxy Digital, while the third one is a joint effort from asset manager FS Investments and New York Digital Investment Group.
It is not Morgan Stanley’s first Bitcoin hookup with NYDIG. In its filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission seeking Bitcoin exchange-traded fund last month, NYDIG noted that Morgan will distribute the ETF shares.
The Galaxy Bitcoin Fund LP and FS NYDIG Select Fund have minimum investments of $25,000, while the Galaxy Institutional Bitcoin Fund LP has a $5 million minimum. The service will launch next month, after the bank’s financial advisors are trained to manage the new products.