Bitcoin’s theatre of dramatic ups and downs may have just found the star actor it needs to bring in the crowds as Morgan Stanley announced its crypto stage bow.
The financial behemoth has now officially told its wealth advisors to deliver access to Bitcoin funds, albeit restricted to no more than 2.5 per cent of total net worth.
Although limited, it is, however, a gigantic step towards even more institutional money being pumped into digital assets.
Coupled with the downward slide of the US dollar and wider investment into cryptocurrency, Bitcoin (BTC) is back on track to notch a sixth consecutive month of positivity as it closes in on another all-time-high.
The flagship crypto pierced through $60,000 last weekend – with some conviction – as it set a record $61,701, toppling the previous high of $58,332 set a month ago.
Last month’s peak was hit as a branch of Morgan Stanley hinted it was weighing up the pros and cons of investing in BTC.
The latest narrative has propelled Bitcoin back into bullish territory after a post-weekend slump sent it down to the dimly-lit depths of $54,000 – largely driven by news that Binance was under the scrutiny of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
Things picked back up a little when Binance bosses responded to the CFTC probe, which was coincidentally announced 24 hours before Binance appointed former US Senator Max Baucus to a roll which looked very much like CEO Changpeng Zhao was paving the way for regulation and a foot in the door of the American market.
Baucus has been handed a brief by to provide high-level guidance on efforts to build relations with US authorities and regulators. The 79-year-old Democrat – who recently served as the US Ambassador to China – is also Montana’s longest-serving senator after being in office from 1978 before being appointed to the Beijing role in 2014.
Putting Binance under the spotlight of the authorities now registers as little more than a dip in the road for the progression of Bitcoin which had been buoyed in the weeks before by a raft of institutional investment which is, according to Goldman Sachs, driving a crypto boom.
Goldman Sachs’ viewpoint was confirmed when Norwegian gas and oil giant Aker ASA has revealed it was to create a cryptocurrency arm with a massive $59 million opening investment.
Run by Kjell Inge Rokke – Norway’s second-wealthiest person – the 180-year-old holding company launched Seetee AS with a letter to shareholders declaring it would be running open-source Bitcoin payment servers.
This cast list of big players sets the stage for the superstar entrance of Morgan Stanley to make its curtain call this week.
The funds offered by the Manhattan-based multinational investment bank will be offered to clients by Galaxy Digital – a company founded by early Bitcoin evangelist Mike Novogratz. Other funds will be overseen by FS Investments and NYDIG.
The move represents a serious swing of opinion from the huge financial institutions which had spent years flatly rejecting the very concept of cryptocurrency.
Morgan Stanley, taking an early and tentative 2.5 per cent step into Bitcoin are now on the brink of formally identifying the 12-year-old crypto as a recognised asset class.
The Wall Street narrative now feeds into a rising trendline with its origins in early February – something traders and analysts have not been slow to evaluate.
Many now anticipate BTC to consolidate just shy of $60,000 before spring-boarding into the middle of $60k.
Despite the bullish outlook, however, there is still a robust bearish resistance keen to keep the price under $60,000 and often in the mood for a push back to the $55,000 region.
Market hesitancy also comes into play with the constant threat of further negative news as the financial authorities get their hooks into the confusing cryptocurrency space.
Another alarm bell – the Indian government – heralds potential trouble on the horizon. One of most crypto-curious nations on earth, India’s Bitcoin enthusiasts have found themselves in a state of limbo as the government looks at the possibility of a cryptocurrency ban in India.
The turmoil in New Dehli has already threatened to bring Bitcoin values down, but investors there have been told they will be given six months in which to liquidate their assets, should cryptocurrency be decreed illegal.
For now though, the crypto markets are waiting to see how the world responds once news of Morgan Stanley’s stage debut is received.
The reviews so far have been five star, and we wait to see if the markets give it a standing ovation.