According to Bloomberg, Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) has begun clearing Bitcoin futures contracts for large institutional clients. The bank also holds regular executive meetings to discuss other innovative ways to make a foray into the cryptocurrency market.
The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jonathan Pruzan said, “If Someone wants to do a trade on the futures and settle in cash, we’ll do that.” In the telephone interview, he went further to say that “I wouldn’t say that it’s been a lot of activity, but it’s for core institutional clients who want to participate in a derivatives transaction.”
This move by Morgan Stanley comes on the back of their rival bank Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) getting involved with the clearing of Bitcoin futures. Last month exchanges from Cboe Global Markets and CME Group (NASDAQ:CME) took Bitcoin into the regulated finance space with the launch of futures contracts. Subsequently, Goldman Sachs demanded that some clients were to set aside funds equal to value of their Bitcoin futures trade. This is a condition prerequisite for the clearing of their transactions. The move has however deterred several people who would have loved to participate in the Bitcoin futures trade from taking part in the action.
Morgan Stanley’s CFO has declined to state how much participants will be required to set aside but he indicated that the volatility of the asset class is a factor to be considered in setting margin levels.