Morgan Stanley Owns Around $300M Worth of GBTC Shares
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Morgan Stanley Owns Around $300M Worth of GBTC Shares

Morgan Stanely has acquired over 7 million shares of Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, equivalent to more than 6,300 BTC.
Neither the author, Tim Fries, nor this website, The Tokenist, provide financial advice. Please consult our website policy prior to making financial decisions.

Morgan Stanely has purchased approximately $300 million worth of Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) shares, recent filings shared with the SEC reveal. According to the files, 31 Morgan Stanley funds hold various amounts of GBTC shares. 

Recently, Morgan Stanley has been increasingly interested in investing in crypto-centered firms. The recent filing which unveiled GBTC ownership is just one of the firm’s several recent moves.

Morgan Stanely Invests Heavily in GBTC

Morgan Stanley, an American multinational investment bank, has acquired over 7 million shares of Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC). The shares are distributed among 31 Morgan Stanley funds, each holding a different amount of shares.

SEC filings reveal that one of the bank’s funds, MORGAN STANLEY INSTITUTIONAL FUND INC, holds 2,130,153 shares of GBTC, worth over $80 million. Morgan’s Insight Fund also holds a considerable amount of shares, around 1 million GBTC, worth over $36 million. 

The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) is an investment product that enables investors to gain exposure to the price action of Bitcoin via traditional investment vehicles. Investing in GBTC is indirectly investing in Bitcoin since the product reflects the price performance of Bitcoin.

In late June, a filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission revealed that one of the bank’s funds, the Morgan Stanley Europe Opportunity Fund, owned 28,298 shares of GBTC. Prior to this, in April, the firm added Bitcoin exposure to 12 of its funds through GBTC and cash-settled futures.

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A Rundown of Morgan Stanley’s Recent Digital Asset Investments

In early March, Morgan Stanley invested in the Bitcoin firm NYDIG, which had previously facilitated MassMutual’s $100 million Bitcoin purchase. In the fundraising round, which was joined by Stone Ridge Holdings Group, Morgan Stanley, and New York Life among others, the firm raised $200 million.

In mid-March, the bank unveiled that it will offer its wealthy clients access to Bitcoin funds, becoming the first bank to do so. The move, which was a significant step in promoting Bitcoin adoption, also pushed other banks into offering crypto funds. In July, JPMorgan started offering crypto funds to all clients.

There were also reports that Morgan Stanley planned to buy a $440 million stake in the largest South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb. The report, which was published by an Asian media outlet, cited anonymous sources familiar with the matter saying the bank is in talks for the acquisition of the crypto exchange.

Furthermore, just last month, Morgan Stanley co-led a Series B fundraising round for Securitize, a digital-asset securities company. The round, which was joined by Ava Labs, Borderless Capital, and IDC Ventures among others, managed to raise $48 million.

While Morgan Stanley has not publicly disclosed a direct investment in digital assets—such as buying BTC itself—the bank has been consistently pouring money into Bitcoin and digital asset-related firms. As covered by the Tokenist, this is part of a larger trend where big VCs, Pension Funds, and other big players continue to pour billions into crypto firms.

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Why do you think Morgan Stanley is so passionate about crypto firms? Let us know in the comments below. 

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