According to financial news agency Bloomberg, which refers to an internal source of the bank, Morgan Stanley has decided to accelerate its interest in crypto.
A team of researchers to understand the impact of cryptocurrencies
According to the news media, the third-largest US investment bank on Monday formed a team of researchers to study the possible uses and impact of cryptocurrencies on certain financial instruments.
The group would be led by Sheena Shah, one of the bank’s leading financial analysts on cryptocurrencies. The team, which is expected to be based in London, will specifically have to study the correlation between major cryptocurrencies and listed stocks as well as fixed income securities.
“The launch of dedicated crypto research is in recognition of the growing significance of cryptocurrencies and other digital assets in global markets”, David Adelman, managing director of equity, Juliet Estridge, head of the European equity research team and Vishy Tirupattur director of fixed income at Morgan Stanley said in a note reported by Bloomberg.
Morgan Stanley, the first bank to offer crypto instruments
This news certainly doesn’t come as a surprise, considering that Morgan Stanley has long shown great interest in the world of cryptocurrencies and blockchain. In April, the financial firm launched three cryptocurrency funds for high net worth investors (at least $2 million in assets under management), but limited the percentage of investment in such instruments to 2.5% of total assets.
At the beginning of March, the Bank had included in its investment fund a basket of securities, such as Microstrategy and Square, which have a large exposure to cryptocurrencies. In June, Morgan Stanley announced that it had bought 28,289 shares, worth about $1.5 million, of Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, which is the public fund with the largest share of Bitcoin in the world.
The perverse relationship between traditional finance and cryptocurrencies
If Morgan Stanley, but also other banks such as Goldman Sachs or JP Morgan, which recently predicted that Bitcoin could reach $140,000 by 2022, are looking at the crypto world with great interest, the same cannot be said for other American financial institutions.
The idiosyncrasy of the world’s biggest financial player Warren Buffett, who has always regarded Bitcoin as a kind of worthless scam with no future prospects, has long been known. But also the Fed and the US Treasury Secretary Janet Allen, former president of the Fed, have always been very sceptical towards the world of cryptocurrencies.
Not to mention the SEC, which for some time now has seemed to want to thoroughly investigate all crypto financial companies, with a particular focus on decentralized finance companies.
Since the beginning, investigations for violation of financial regulations have been opened on dozens of companies, including the giant Ripple, which has been fighting in court for months over an accusation of having sold financial assets without authorization.
According to some, the fear of traditional banks of losing customers and business through the decentralized finance of cryptocurrencies is behind all this.
It is no coincidence that, a few days ago, the president of the Bank for International Settlements, which is owned by the world’s central banks, warned of the risk that cryptocurrencies could have on the business of traditional finance.
In a speech to the financial community, he called for the acceleration of the processes of Central Bank Digital Currencies, which could be the best answer to this “threat”.