Morgan Stanley, the United States’ largest bank, has established a new division for crypto-focused research.
Bloomberg reported Monday that Sheena Shah, the Wall Street megabank’s lead cryptocurrency analyst, has been appointed to its dedicated cryptocurrency research group. Shah was Morgan Stanley’s currency strategist for G10 currencies over eight years. She also contributed to the bank’s crypto-related research efforts.
Shah’s new role will focus on analysing the impact of cryptocurrency on equities as well as fixed-income investments like corporate bonds and treasury.
Morgan Stanley executives announced the news to their staff in a memo. They stated that the creation of a dedicated team for crypto research was “in recognition of the increasing importance of cryptocurrencies, and other digital assets in international markets.”
Morgan Stanley, as previously reported, has been investing in digital assets for the past year. It has steadily increased its exposure to Bitcoin (BTC), through several investment funds managed by Grayscale Investments. Morgan Stanley introduced a Bitcoin investment tool in March for millionaire clients.
Related: Wells Fargo files to establish a Bitcoin fund
This news comes amid the rapid growth of cryptocurrency markets and traditional finance industries continuing to dive into crypto. Over the past year, the total market value for all cryptocurrency has increased to more than $1 trillion dollars. This is an increase of around $350 billion from a year ago and $2.1 trillion as of the writing of this article.
Major U.S. banks are rushing to create crypto-related units. Bank of America set up a crypto research department in July. State Street, America’s second oldest bank, has previously launched a digital finance division. Goldman Sachs Group and JPMorgan Wall Street have also launched crypto trading services in 2018.
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