Global investment bank and financial services provider Morgan Stanley has bought 28,289 shares of Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) according to a filing with the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC).
At an estimated price of $29.25 per share, Morgan Stanley’s GBTC investment is currently worth a little over $827,000.
The GBTC fund, which is closed to new investments at the moment, offers private placement for institutional investors throughout the year, with a holding period of six months.
Morgan Stanley Grows Investments in the Crypto Market
The news comes less than two months after Morgan Stanley said that some of its funds including the Institutional Fund, the Institutional Fund Trust, the Insight Fund, and the Variable Insurance Fund could indirectly invest up to 25% of their individual total assets under management in Bitcoin. The investments would be settled through Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust and cash-settled futures contracts.
The acquisition increases Morgan Stanley’s investment in the cryptocurrency market, a move that the company said is in response to growing demand from its clients. As a result of the demand, Morgan Stanley became the first international bank in the US to offer its clients access to bitcoin investments in March 2021. The firm manages over $2.3 trillion in assets in 42 countries.
Even more recently, Morgan Stanley and Blockchain Capital co-led a $48 million Series B funding round for the blockchain firm Securitize, which offers asset tokenization services. This investment marked the firm’s first venture capital investment in the blockchain technology-based industry.
Grayscale Bitcoin Trust
GBTC was founded in 2013 by Digital Currency Group (DCG) to provide its clients partial and insured exposure to bitcoin, a factor that has encouraged many institutions to invest in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
It is also one of the largest bitcoin whales with an accumulative bitcoin reserve of 649,130, representing 3% of the total circulating supply. DCG also owns crypto news site Coindesk, crypto mining startup Foundry, crypto wallet Luno and TradeBlock which publishes the XBX index used to track the price of Bitcoin.
As of June 2021, GBTC’s total assets under management (AUM) stand at $22.4 Billion. The trust has 98 institutional owners and shareholders, who collectively hold 25,333,581 shares. Some of its largest shareholders include ARK Generation Internet ETF, Kinetics Portfolios Trust, ARK Investments Management LLC, and Novare Capital Management.
Additionally, Grayscale also buys Bitcoin on behalf of institutions that want direct exposure to Bitcoin and has helped MicroStrategy accumulate over $1 billion in BTC in a period of less than one year.