Morgan Stanley increased exposure to Bitcoin, held $300M in Grayscale shares

Morgan Stanley, a major U.S. bank for investment, has increased its exposure to Bitcoin by purchasing shares in Grayscale Bitcoin Trust.

According to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission filings on Tuesday, Morgan Stanley Insight Fund increased its holdings Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (or GBTC) shares more than 63% from 928,051 during the second quarter 2021 to 1,520,549 by Sept. 30. According to the firms Growth Portfolio filings, it holds 3,642,118 GBTC shares for the third quarter 2021. This is 71% more than the 2,130,153 shares of Q2. Morgan Stanley Global Opportunity Portfolio had 1,463,714 GBTC. This is 59% more than the 919,805 shares it held in three months.

The price of GBTC at the time of publication is $45.72. This means that the investment banks exposure in Bitcoin (BTC), across these three funds, amounts to roughly $303 million. There are 6,626,381 shares of Bitcoin as of September 30. BTC was trading at a low of $50,000 in September. However, the crypto asset reached an all-time high of $69,000 and then dropped back to $56,000.

Morgan Stanley can gain exposure to Bitcoin (BTC), without having to invest directly in the cryptocurrency, through its respective portfolios or funds. Cointelegraph reported that Morgan Stanleys Europe Opportunity Fund has more than doubled its share of Grayscale Bitcoin Trust shares since April. This fund invests in both established and emerging European companies. The fund did not report additional BTC exposure at publication.

Related: Grayscale suggests plans to transform Bitcoin trust into a BTC-settled ETF

Morgan Stanley appears to be diving deeper into crypto investing, whether its through Grayscale or backing blockchain platforms. The firm announced in September that it would create a crypto-focused research unit to study the “growing importance of cryptocurrencies” and other digital assets on global markets.