Major Wall Street Bank Bans Bitcoin Trading

E L Emerson

Wall Street banking giant Merrill Lynch has banned Bitcoin-trading according to a leaked memo to the New York Times.

In stark contrast to the somewhat dubious approach taken by JP Morgan Chase and its CEO Jamie Dimon towards Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, Wall Street giant Merrill Lynch has today laid down the digital currency gauntlet by banning its financial advisors from buying Bitcoin-related investments on behalf of their clients.

The move was revealed after a New York Times journalist was given access to an internal memo from the Wall Street giant.

According to journalist Lisa Beilfuss, “Merrill Lynch has blocked clients and financial advisers who trade on their behalf from buying bitcoin, citing concerns over the cryptocurrency’s investment suitability.

“The ban applies to all accounts and precludes the firm’s roughly 17,000 advisers not only from pitching bitcoin-related investments but also from executing client requests to trade the Grayscale Investment Trust bitcoin fund, according to a person familiar with the matter. The ban extends an existing policy barring access to newly launched bitcoin futures.”

Despite JP Morgan Chase Jamie Dimon’s very public diatribes against the cryptocurrency market, his bank continues to trade in these currencies with Bitcoin centrepiece exchanges like Grayscale Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBIT).

Bitcoin (BTC) is traded over the counter, rather than through the New York Stock Exchange.

Merrill Lynch had previously banned access to the bitcoin futures that the world’s largest futures exchange, CME and Cboe launched in mid-December 2017.

The furore over the volatile currency has helped it rise over 1,300% in the last 12 months, drawing speculation of a bubble and impending crash, and strong comparisons to the dot.com boom of the late 1990s.

E L Emerson, Editor, HNW

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