Report: Morgan Stanley ‘Racing’ to Offer Bitcoin ETFs to All Clients

Morgan Stanley and UBS are working to become the first major U.S. banks to offer a spot Bitcoin ETFs to all clients, according to social media reports.

With $1.26 trillion and $1.1 trillion in assets under management respectively, Morgan Stanley and UBS are two of the largest wealth managers worldwide. Both are vying to fully approve Bitcoin ETF trading on their platforms in a pivotal moment for institutional Bitcoin adoption.

The reports come from Bitcoin insider Andrew on X and Bloomberg analyst Eric Balchunas.

Andrew, an influential Bitcoin commentator, tweeted Morgan Stanley may announce its Bitcoin ETF listing “days before” UBS. He said global banks have been urgently discussing adding the products.

UPDATE: several notes from @MorganStanley execs this AM; salty about @UBS post yesterday. They want to be the first wirehouse to fully approve the #Bitcoin ETF’s.

@MorganStanley may announce a few days before @UBS.
– interesting that global banks are talking about $BTC ETF’s…

— Andrew (@AP_Abacus) April 3, 2024

Initially skeptical, Bloomberg’s Balchunas agreed the firms are playing a “compliance game of chicken” on Bitcoin ETF approvals.

The upcoming launches would mark a major milestone for Bitcoin’s mainstream acceptance. Morgan Stanley adding BTC ETF trading would be a stunning U-turn after CEO James Gorman said last year he didn’t think Bitcoin had much uptake as an institutional asset class.

Access could be imminent, pending strict compliance reviews. But a green light would still represent a watershed moment for Bitcoin.

Major wealth managers offering ETF trading would convey growing confidence in Bitcoin’s longevity and expose millions of new investors to the market. Being a leader in Bitcoin ETFs could attract billions in new client assets. The moves also signal growing confidence in Bitcoin’s longevity among the world’s banking elite.

The accelerating race between giants like Morgan Stanley and UBS validates Bitcoin’s promise. Other wealth managers will likely quickly follow their lead.

As game theory takes hold, Bitcoin’s march towards the mainstream financial system gains irresistible momentum. Significant bank adoption may be closer than many imagine.