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Morgan Stanley Latest Bank to Disclose Spot Bitcoin ETF Holdings for Clients

  • Morgan Stanley held nearly $270 million of GBTC as of March 31.

  • The investments were likely made on behalf of clients and not a bet on bitcoin by the bank itself.

Morgan Stanley was the owner of $269.9 million of Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) as of March 31, a 13F filing showed.

Other banking giants, among them JPMorgan, Wells Fargo, and UBS, also disclosed holdings in the spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds during the first quarter.

It is important to note that these purchases don't necessarily represent the banks' views on the direction of bitcoin's price, but instead were likely either made on behalf of the banks' wealth management clients or necessary for market making and/or ETF authorized participant duties.

Morgan Stanley opened up spot bitcoin ETF allocations to its clients shortly after their approval in January, though only on an unsolicited basis, meaning that the client had to propose the investment to the broker.