Wall Street is quickly warming to the new and often volatile cryptocurrency markets. Just last week, Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman told CNBC’s Squawk Box that she is open to building a Nasdaq cryptocurrency exchange and the Cboe saw its bitcoin trading volume hit an all-time high as institutional investors move into the markets. Now, a recent report suggests that the big brokerage firms are racing to plant their respective flags and start trading cryptocurrencies.
In a recent exclusive by The ICO Journal, Morgan Stanley (MS) insiders have unveiled the speed at which the firm is working to add cryptocurrencies to its trading products, where they are focused on creating a specific trading desk for institutional traders, ICOs, and arbitrage. According to the inside source, the firm is actively engaging with numerous money managers and hedge funds with a focus on “firms that are apt to add to their current portfolios as opposed to starting from scratch.”
“Truth be told this is the next arms race. EVERYONE IS RUSHING INTO CRYPTOS. Everyone. There isn’t a bank, a fund, a fund company, a former legend attempting to reclaim old glory, private equity, venture capital, lending, exchanges, consulting firms – everybody. It is the digital gold rush. And our firm wants to get there and pull as many levers as we can.”
If in fact true, this is welcome news to the hundreds of hedge funds that have either launched around or re-organized their portfolios to include digital assets. This crypto trend also seems to be accelerating, as there is an ongoing exodus of top Wall Street talent to crypto-related investment firms and companies, including a number of employees at Goldman Sachs.
Morgan Stanley has not made an official statement on the matter.