Morgan Stanley doubles exposure to Bitcoin through Grayscale shares

The investment firm has increased its shares of GBTC by more than 105% since April.

Major U.S. investment bank Morgan Stanley has more than doubled its shares of Grayscale Bitcoin Trust since April.

According to a report from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, filed Sept. 27, the Morgan Stanley Europe Opportunity Fund, which invests in established and emerging companies throughout Europe, owned 58,116 shares of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, or GBTC, as of July 31. At the time of publication, the price of GBTC is $34.28, making the investment bank’s exposure to Bitcoin (BTC) roughly $2 million — Morgan Stanley reported thatthe shares cost $2.4 million.

Previous filings show that Morgan Stanley has increased its shares of GBTC by more than 105% since April. Cointelegraph reported in June that the investment bank held 28,298 GBTC, worth roughly $1.3 million at the time. 

Morgan Stanley has been gaining more exposure to BTC in 2021. The firm’s Europe Opportunity Fund aims at maximum capital appreciation by investing in “high quality established and emerging” Europe-based companies that the team considers “undervalued at the time of purchase.”

In April, the investment bank announced it would be adding Bitcoin exposure to 12 investment funds through Grayscale and cash-settled futures. The bank later led a $48 million funding round for Securitize, a Coinbase-backed tokenization platform — the action represented Morgan Stanley’s first capital investment foray into blockchain.

Related: Morgan Stanley exec says Bitcoin is the ‘Kenny from South Park’ of money

Ark Invest under CEO Cathie Wood also has a significant investment in the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust. In July, the firm reported it had purchased more than 450,000 GBTC shares in two separate buys. At the time of publication, Ark Invest and its institutional funds hold more than 8.3 million GBTC shares, making its GBTC holdings roughly 0.69% of its portfolio.

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