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Morgan Stanley is reportedly getting ready to offer clients exposure to bitcoin with a new trading product (MS)

Business Insider logo Business Insider 9/13/2018 Frank Chaparro

James Gorman© Provided by Business Insider James Gorman  

  • Morgan Stanley is diving deeper into the world of cryptocurrencies and is planning to offer trading of a new product tied bitcoin, according to a Bloomberg News report. 
  • The new bitcoin swaps at Morgan Stanley would represent the latest move by a Wall Street bank in the crypto space. 
  • Watch bitcoin trade in real time here.

Morgan Stanley is planning to offer trading of a derivative product tied to bitcoin, according to a report by Bloomberg News. 

The New York financial-services firm is reportedly planning to offer bitcoin swaps, which would give investors exposure to the performance of the digital currency without having to buy it, according to the report. The product is ready to go-live, but the firm is waiting for the right amount of demand from institutional clients. 

Morgan Stanley, which has been clearing bitcoin futures trades for its clients, is the most recent bulge-bracket bank to dive deeper into the market for digital currencies. The bank has not said it is trading bitcoin itself.

Citigroup, for instance, has created what it's calling a digital asset receipt, thought to be the most direct way to invest in cryptocurrencies without owning them, according to people with knowledge of the project. It works much like an American depository receipt, which has been around for decades, to give US investors a way to own foreign stocks that don't otherwise trade on local exchanges. The foreign stock is held by a bank, which then issues the depository receipt.

Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs is exploring a custody product for cryptocurrencies and already actively trades bitcoin futures and other products tied to the digital coin. 

As for Morgan Stanley, the bank hired Andrew Peel from Credit Suisse in June as head of digital assets, according to Bloomberg. 

Despite Wall Street's intensifying interest in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, the market for such assets has plummeted this year. Bitcoin is down more thn 50% this year. 

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