Morgan Stanley Evaluating Spot Bitcoin ETFs for Its Giant Brokerage Platform: Sources

Morgan Stanley is considering offering spot bitcoin ETFs to customers of its large brokerage platform.


Morgan Stanley Considers Spot Bitcoin ETFs

Morgan Stanley is currently conducting due diligence to determine whether to provide spot bitcoin ETF products to customers on its brokerage platform, according to sources familiar with the matter. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission approved the introduction of spot bitcoin ETFs in January, and Morgan Stanley, as one of the largest broker-dealer platforms in the country, has been assessing the feasibility of offering these products to its clients.

While billions of dollars have already been invested in spot bitcoin ETFs, the entry of big registered investment advisor (RIA) networks and broker-dealer platforms like Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, and others could bring even more investment into these new products.

Spot Bitcoin ETFs Currently Trading in the US

There are currently 10 spot bitcoin ETFs available for trading in the United States. The most popular ones based on assets are Grayscale's GBTC, BlackRock's IBIT, and Fidelity's FBTC. It is unclear which specific products Morgan Stanley is considering offering to its clients.

Morgan Stanley, with over $150 billion in assets under management, is a leader in the alternative investments and private market space. The bank became the first major U.S. bank to provide its wealthy clients with access to bitcoin funds in 2021. During its first-quarter earnings call in April 2021, Morgan Stanley confirmed that it was offering exposure to bitcoin to its wealth management clients through external crypto funds provided by Galaxy Digital and NYDIG.

Morgan Stanley's Stance on Bitcoin

Morgan Stanley's former CFO, Jonathan Pruzan, stated three years ago that as interest in bitcoin grows, the bank will work with regulators to offer appropriate services. The decision to evaluate spot bitcoin ETFs for its brokerage platform is in line with the bank's approach to provide its clients with access to digital assets that meet regulatory requirements.

Morgan Stanley declined to comment on its current evaluation of spot bitcoin ETFs.