📌  Morgan Stanley Finally Offers Crypto, Visa Enabling BTC Payments, and eToro Goes Public

March 17, 2021 | Issue #160

 MUST READS 

Morgan Stanley to Offer Clients Access to Bitcoin Funds


Morgan Stanley is the first large U.S. bank to offer its wealth management clients access to Bitcoin funds.

The investment bank, a giant in wealth management with $4 trillion in client assets, told its financial advisors Wednesday in an internal memo that it is launching access to three funds that enable ownership of Bitcoin.

Two of the funds on offer are from Galaxy Digital (GLXY), a crypto firm founded by Mike Novogratz, while the third is a joint effort from asset manager FS Investments and Bitcoin company NYDIG.

The move, a significant step for the acceptance of Bitcoin as an asset class, was made by Morgan Stanley after clients demanded exposure to the cryptocurrency.

But, at least for now, the bank is only allowing its wealthier clients access. The bank considers it suitable for people with “an aggressive risk tolerance” who have at least $2 million in assets held by the firm.
 

More Crypto Companies to Go Public Soon


Coinbase continues to prepare for its public listing after filing a revised S1 today. Here's what you need to know:
  • ~115 million shares will be listed
     
  • Fred Wilson of USV has been named as its lead independent director
     
  • The company also disclosed its investment in Ethereum-based marketplace Zora Labs
But Coinbase better hurry up. It appears more competition is coming soon...

Yesterday, trading platform eToro announced that it would go public through the SPAC, FinTech Acquisition Corp. V (FTCV), at a ~$10 billion valuation. The SPAC immediately traded up on the news to ~$15, but has pulled back to ~$13. Learn more about trading SPACs here.

Then, in speaking to The Block, Kraken stated that it could go public next year via a direct listing (similar to Coinbase) rather than a SPAC because it is "too big."

Let's not forget that Gemini has also been teasing a public listing this year and Bakkt has already announced it will go public through the SPAC, VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings (VIH).
 

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 DEEP DIVE 

BlockFi, Grayscale and Shadow Banking Illustrate Why DeFi Really Matters


Here’s a riddle: What’s a bank called that isn’t actually a bank and doesn’t offer FDIC protection?

Answer: A secretive hedge fund

And BlockFi to date has been a very good, successful hedge fund. But recently, some of their practices have come under the microscope.

Let's take a closer look.
 

A Year After The Crash


On March 12, 2020, amid rising panic over the rapid spread of COVID-19, Bitcoin (BTC) crashed from about $8,000 to under $4,000 in a 24 hour period. The rest of the crypto market came crashing down with it.

Now, a little over a year later, the CoinMetrics team takes a look back at how much things have changed since that notorious day.
 

📱 Decentralize Social Media


The centralization of social media networks has led to a host of problems for the platforms and their users. These include privacy breaches and the impossible task of moderating the content of billions of users.

In this essay, Ross Ulbricht describes a decentralized social protocol (DSP) that can help solve or mitigate these problems by giving users control over their own content and putting them in charge of value creation and transfer within their networks.
 

 REGULATORY FRONT 

States will Lead the Way


There is a growing chorus of Bitcoin haters coming out of the woodwork to proclaim that the US Federal Government is going to ban Bitcoin before it ever threatens the dollar's status as global reserve currency.

But if the Federal Government were to attempt to do this it would come with extremely high opportunity costs. Here's why...
 

Binance Said to Be Probed by CFTC Over Derivatives Trading


Binance, which operates offices worldwide but claims to not have a headquarters, is not registered with the CFTC, but is being accused of having turned a blind eye to allowing US residents access to its derivatives trading desk.

The exchange has yet to make any public comments (besides the normal lawyer speak) on the manner however founder and CEO, CZ, tweeted that it was FUD.
 

Wyoming DAO Bill Approved by Senate


The bill would enable Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) to legally register themselves as Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), connecting the blockchain-centric business structure to the legal world.

Here's a short tweet-storm fully explaining the significance.
 

 TWEET OF THE WEEK 

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