Institutions Turn Bullish On Crypto Once Again

As coins begin to recover from massive sell off trends that overtook the market throughout the month of June, institutions are seemingly acting counterintuitively to most and going all in on crypto yet again. Whether it is due to the lowered price point or to a renewed sense of “crypto is here to stay,” this week has been marked by several instances of institutional interest and investment in cryptocurrencies. 

Fidelity & Standard Chartered to Launch Crypto Trading Platform

Global intermediary firm TP ICAP Group is working to launch a cryptocurrency trading platform that caters to investment banks and hedge funds, a clear sign of continued institutional interest in crypto and digital assets. Two of the major players that have signed on to this project are Fidelity Digital Assets and Zodia Custody, a firm that was launched by Standard Chartered. 

In a company statement released to the press, TP ICAP Group’s Co-Head of Digital Assets Simon Forster said, “Client demand to trade spot crypto assets is significant and growing, with interest coming from our traditional customer base across the different asset classes we operate in”. Speaking on the defining feature of this new platform, Forster went on to say, “Our partnership, and resultant new platform, is a natural evolution in market structure that will make digital assets, such as Bitcoin, more accessible for the wholesale market”. 

According to TP ICAP, institutions are deterred by crypto exchanges that combine the act of trading and the subsequent of storage of purchased cryptocurrencies on one platform. They hope to resolve this issue by giving big-name clients access to what is referred to as liquid trading of crypto, and storage within a separate custodian platform. 

TP ICAP Group has already begun on-boarding clients for its platform while awaiting approval for its operations from the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom. 

Morgan Stanley Buys Over 28k Shares of Bitcoin Trust

One of the most traditional institutions out there, multinational investment bank and financial services company Morgan Stanley has purchased 28,289 shares of Grayscale Bitcoin Trust. This purchase was made public in a recent U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing prepared by the mega bank. 

With shares worth more than $1.2 million at the time the sale, this investment highlights Morgan Stanley’s commitment to crypto as a viable and lucrative asset class despite the recent dip in prices in the market. In fact, the recent price action triggered many institutional players to buy in at what was seen as more attractive and accessible price points. A veteran supporter of crypto, Morgan Stanley was one of the first to offer clients exposure to Bitcoin funds. 

As news of Morgan Stanley’s purchase broke, Bitcoin’s price managed to soar 5% and floated above the $35,000 mark. 

The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust is the world’s largest public owner of Bitcoin and appears to be a favorite amongst institutional players. 

CitiBank Launches “Digital Assets Group” Crypto Services

Also on the institutional banking front is news of CitiBank launching a digital assets unit dedicated to cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. A sub-category of their wealth management division, the Digital Assets Group will be dedicated to helping the bank expand within the crypto space and crystallize its crypto offerings. 

Just a couple of weeks ago, global investment bank Goldman Sachs revealed plans to offer investors futures and options trading in Ether — the world’s second largest cryptocurrency after Bitcoin. Joining their peers BNY Mellon, JP Morgan, and Morgan Stanley, Citi is the latest bank to throw their hat in the ring. 

Bitcoin was trading at $34,640 at the time of publishing, while Ether was stable at $2,200. 

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