Morgan Stanley to offer wealth management clients access to bitcoin funds: source

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Morgan Stanley alerted its wealth management advisors Wednesday that the Wall Street giant will begin offering access to at least one bitcoin-related fund to accredited wealth management clients.

It's the latest sign of bitcoin adoption on Wall Street and a big development for the cryptocurrency in the wealth management channel. Morgan Stanley's wealth management unit boasts 16,000 advisors, managing some $4 triillion in client assets.

According to a source at the bank, the firm could offer clients access to funds operated by NYDIG or Galaxy Digital.

On Wednesday, Morgan Stanley published a note through its wealth management unit that outlined the case for cryptocurrency as an emerging investable asset class. That piece notably suggested that would-be investors should look to publicly traded products rather than obtain direct exposure via coin ownership.

"For those qualified* investors ready to gain exposure, we suggest starting with publicly traded products—preferably ones that are multiasset and potentially accessing the growth opportunities through a venture capital/private equity investment in the blockchain ecosystem," the note explained in its conclusion.

That Morgan Stanley would offer access to an NYDIG fund is perhaps unsurprising, given that the Wall Street bank was among those to participate in NYDIG's $200 million growth capital round earlier this month.

NYDIG's CEO, Robby Gutmann, said during a podcast appearance earlier this week that "[i]n the next week, you'll see game-changing milestones for bitcoin adoption in the financial landscape."

"Galaxy is thrilled to partner with Morgan Stanley, the first US bank to offer wealthy clients access to bitcoin funds," Galaxy founder Mike Novogratz said in a tweet after the news broke.

Editor's Note: This report has been updated to reflect that Morgan Stanley's wealth management unit has $4 trillion, not the $2.3 trillion previously reported.

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