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Bitcoin Tops $50,000 as Investment Products Proliferate

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Interest in Bitcoin is spreading as its price keeps rising, topping $50,000 in early trading on Monday before retreating.

Morgan Stanley is considering adding Bitcoin to the array of investments at its Counterpoint Global unit, a “high conviction active” manager involved in public and private markets, according to Bloomberg News, citing “people with knowledge of the matter.”

The firm declined to comment to Bloomberg and did not respond to emails from ThinkAdvisor,  but a filing by NYDIG Asset Management for a Bitcoin ETF names Morgan Stanley as the fund’s “initial Authorized Participant.” It’s not clear at this point if the Counterpoint Global unit is connected to that filing.

According to the SEC filing, the NYDIG Bitcoin ETF would invest in Bitcoin and trade on the NYSE Arca. To date, the Securities and Exchange Commission has rejected multiple Bitcoin ETF applications. There is at least one other Bitcoin investment vehicle pending before the agency — the Van Eck Bitcoin Trust — for which the firm filed after the agency rejected two other Bitcoin ETFs from Van Eck.

In Canada, the Ontario Securities Commission has approved the launch of a Bitcoin ETF from Toronto-based Purpose Investments.

In the U.S. on Monday, another Bitcoin trust debuted on the over-the-counter market. The Osprey Bitcoin Trust (OBTC), from Osprey Funds, is accessible to all U.S. investors through traditional brokerage and IRA accounts, for a minimum $0.49% fee.

“As a fiduciary-minded organization, we believe bitcoin deserves a place in every investment portfolio, but at a reasonable price,” said Greg King, CEO of Osprey, in a statement. “Not only does bitcoin have immense long-term appreciation potential, it also provides portfolio diversification given its low correlation to equities.”

The Osprey fund joins several other cryptocurrency investment vehicles already on the market, the Bitwise 10 Crypto Index Fund (BITW), Skybridge Bitcoin Fund and Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, which all charge more. Bitwise has also filed for a Bitcoin fund.

Bitcoin prices more than tripled in 2020 and gained almost 20% last Monday after Tesla disclosed in an SEC filing it had purchased $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin and was considering accepting the cryptocurrency as payment for its vehicles “in the near future.”

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