Morgan Stanley is now clearing Bitcoin futures for their clients, meaning that Goldman Sachs is no longer the sole Wall Street firm doing so. Morgan Stanley joins Goldman Sachs, TD Ameritrade, E*Trade and others in clearing CME and Cboe Bitcoin futures.
The reaction of the Bitcoin community has been divided over the creation of regulated Bitcoin futures, with some suggesting manipulation of the underlying Bitcoin market. However, it’s clear that the more Wall Street firms that get involved in anything related to Bitcoin, the more legitimacy it gives to digital currency.
Morgan Stanley Chief Financial Officer Jonathan Pruzan said the brokerage was mostly concerned with servicing its institutional clients::
I wouldn’t say it’s been a lot of activity, but it’s for core institutional clients who want to participate in a derivatives transaction.”
Given indications that institutional investors may be starting to play a much greater role in the Bitcoin markets, this is significant. If such institutions become interested in acquiring Bitcoin, the price will certainly soar. Indeed, Coinbase is targeting just such clients with their Coinbase Custody product. Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong believes institutional investors may be ready to invest as much as $10 bln.