Morgan Stanley launches cryptocurrency research team


Morgan Stanley, one of the largest banks in the United States, is setting up a new crypto-focused research division.

The Wall Street megabank has appointed Sheena Shah as lead cryptocurrency analyst for its dedicated cryptocurrency research team, Bloomberg reported on Monday. Shah worked as Morgan Stanley’s lead currency strategist covering G10 currencies for more than eight years and contributed to the bank’s crypto-related research efforts.

In the new role, Shah will reportedly focus on analyzing the impact of cryptocurrencies on equities and fixed-income investments such as treasury and corporate bonds. 

Announcing the news in a memo to staff, Morgan Stanley’s executives stressed that the launch of a dedicated crypto research team “is in recognition of the growing significance of cryptocurrencies and other digital assets in global markets.”

As previously reported, Morgan Stanley has been pushing into digital assets over the past year, steadily growing its direct exposure to Bitcoin (BTC) through several investment funds by Grayscale Investments. In March, Morgan Stanley reportedly introduced a Bitcoin investment tool for millionaire clients.

Related: Wells Fargo files for Bitcoin fund

The news comes as the traditional finance industry continues diving into crypto amid the parabolic growth of the cryptocurrency market. The total market value of all cryptocurrencies has added more than $1 trillion dollars over the past year, jumping from around $350 billion one year ago to $2.1 trillion at the time of writing.

Major U.S. banks have been rushing to establish crypto-related units recently, with Bank of America setting up a crypto research division in July. State Street, the second-oldest continuously operating U.S. bank, previously announced the launch of a dedicated digital finance division. Wall Street megabanks JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs Group also rolled out crypto trading services this year.

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