$83 billion investment bank Morgan Stanley is following the footsteps of Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, and will soon offer Bitcoin swap trading to its clients.
As reported by Alastair Marsh at Bloomberg, the US banking giant has already developed the infrastructure required to offer complex derivatives tied to Bitcoin and will launch Bitcoin swap trading as soon as the bank sees sufficient demand from institutions.
Currently, the bank is said to be undergoing an internal approval process. Depending on the outcome of the internal meeting and the short-term trend of the institutional market of cryptocurrencies, the launch date of Morgan Stanley’s Bitcoin swap trading platform could be delayed or shortened.
Goldman Sachs is Already Clearing Futures
In June, former Goldman Sachs COO David Solomon, who was recently promoted to the CEO of the US-based bank, acknowledged for the first time that the bank has been clearing futures around bitcoin.
At the time, Solomon stated that the bank has been considering the launch of other services in the cryptocurrency market to facilitate growing demands to the emerging asset class, but is approaching the market with caution by evaluating regulatory frameworks and policies around it.
During an interview with Bloomberg TV China, Solomon said:
“We are clearing some futures around Bitcoin, talking about doing some other activities there, but it’s going very cautiously. We’re listening to our clients and trying to help our clients as they’re exploring those things too. Goldman Sachs must evolve its business and adapt to the environment.”
Morgan Stanley is yet to start offering Bitcoin futures and derivatives. But, it is positive that the bank has created a system to clear futures around cryptocurrencies first, prior to publicly releasing its plans to commit to the cryptocurrency market.
Experts believe that the introduction of cryptocurrency-based trading instruments and institutional products will further stabilize the market and allow cryptocurrencies to become more favorable towards large-scale investors.
Previously, Bitcoin Foundation and VISA Executive Jon Matonis stated that the emergence of Bitcoin-related products such as futures offered by strictly regulated financial institutions in the US market will lead to the institutionalization of the market.
With Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, and Goldman Sachs having solidified plans to enter the market, analysts expect the institutionalization of the crypto market to occur relatively soon.
“I think it’s fabulous that they’re getting into it because it brings in new liquidity. They’re going to develop futures markets, options markets, I even think you’re going to start to see interest rate markets around bitcoin. We’re used to hearing things about Libor, the index for bitcoin interest rates is Bibor,” said Matonis.
Massive Progress in 2018
This year, Goldman Sachs have started the trend of offering products around the cryptocurrency market. JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, and other major banks soon followed, expressing their intent towards facilitating the demand for cryptocurrencies.
For many years, the cryptocurrency market has expected institutional investors to commit to digital assets as an alternative store of value against traditional assets. But, the infrastructure was not ready to handle such demand.
In the upcoming months, as an increasing number of major banks continue to pursue the integration of cryptocurrencies into their existing infrastructures, more capital will be injected to the market, leading the recovery.