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Morgan Stanley Eyes Bitcoin Exchange Acquisition After Crypto Rallies 1,500%

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Key Bitcoin Takeaways
A South Korean media outlet reported that Morgan Stanley plans to acquire Bithumb, a local bitcoin exchange.
The news surfaced two days after the American banking giant decided to offer three Bitcoin funds to its rich clients via its traditional investment platform.
Bitcoin recently surged above $61,000 on higher institutional demand, up more than 1,500 percent from its March 2020 low.
Bitcoin is not going places. Places are coming to Bitcoin.

So it appears following a report from the South Korean media outlet Naver that revealed Morgan Stanley’s alleged interest in acquiring a Bitcoin exchange. The exclusive coverage suggested that the American investment banking giant plans to invest 300-500 billion Korean (~$255-442 million) into Bithumb based on comments it received from one of the exchange’s representatives.

$2bn Bid
Morgan Stanley reportedly entered discussions with Bident, an entity that holds a 10.3 percent stake in Bithumb, to acquire stakes in the cryptocurrency exchange. Bident, a KOSDAQ firm, saw its share surge 16.41 percent in a day after the prospects of its potential deal with Morgan Stanley entered the wire.

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“The reason Morgan Stanley used Bident is that it understood that Bident has the right to negotiate a preferred sale to acquire Bithumb Holdings,” said another anonymous source familiar with the matter.

Market analyst Joseph Young revealed in a separate tweet that Morgan Stanley might bid $2 billion for Bithumb, adding that the global investment giant’s deal with South Korea’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange confirms “unprecedented” explosiveness of institutional interest in the Bitcoin space.

The comments also appeared as a CNBC report this Thursday revealed Morgan Stanley’s interest in offering three Bitcoin funds to its wealthy clients via its traditional investment infrastructure.

“Two of the funds on offer are from Galaxy Digital, a crypto firm founded by Mike Novogratz, while the third is a joint effort from asset manager FS Investments and bitcoin company NYDIG,” the exclusive news coverage noted.

Many analysts wrote in the lines of Mr. Young, stating that Morgan Stanley’s involvement in the cryptocurrency space would make Bitcoin more popular among institutional investors.

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“Morgan Stanley’s announcement to offer bitcoin to their clients ($5T) in April ushers in a new era,” noted Eric Weiss, the founder/CEO of New York-based Blockchain Investment Group. “A tidal wave of money is about to flow into bitcoin. Every major bank will follow. Nothing will ever be the same.”

More Bull-Fire Ahead

Bitcoin rose by more than 1,500 percent in the previous 12 months, hitting its highest levels above $61,000 earlier this March as investors continued to explore the cryptocurrency for its anti-inflation features. Many analysts agreed that the Federal Reserve’s loose monetary policies and the US government’s expansive stimulus programs provided tailwinds to the Bitcoin rally.

Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, BTCUSD, BTCUSDT
Bitcoin was up more than 1,500 percent from its mid-March low after hitting $61,778 last wee week. Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.com

Now, bulls anticipate the BTC/USD exchange rate to reach $100,000 by this year’s end, likely to be propelled higher by growing institutional interest. This year, Tesla revealed that it had added $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin to its balance sheets.

Meanwhile, MasterCard and Bank of New York Mellon announced integrating crypto-enabled features into their proprietary platforms. Payment gateway PayPal, which also offers users the option to buy cryptocurrencies through its platform, acquired a crypto-security platform Curv.

 

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Ripple

Coinbase CEO Shows Support for Ripple and XRP Amid Battle with SEC

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The XRP Army believes that Brian Armstrong could be hinting at relisting the cryptocurrency

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong has displayed support for Ripple in its fight against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

In a series of recent tweets, Armstrong writes that the company’s case is seemingly going “better than expected.”

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Armstrong stressed that launching attacks against the crypto industry and hurting investors is “politically unpopular.”

The head of the largest American exchange then channeled Ripple’s oft-repeated talking point about the SEC hurting consumers instead of protecting them:

The irony is that the people they are supposedly protecting are the ones attacking them.

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XRP relisting rumors get a new life  

Armstrong’s tweets inevitably reignited rumors about Coinbase potentially relisting XRP on its platform.

The exchange moved to suspend XRP trading after the SEC filed a lawsuit against Ripple on Jan. 19, which triggered a massive price drop.

As reported by U.Today, Coinbase relisting rumors started making the rounds on social media after XRP trading pairs started showing up on the company’s mobile app last month, but it ended up being a bug.

Despite its legal troubles, XRP has remained resilient, with crypto mogul Mike Novogratz recently noting that the cryptocurrency has tripled in value since the agency filed its complaint.

Coinbase’s run-in with the SEC

Ripple started alighting itself with Coinbase after Armstrong publicly called out the SEC for threatening to sue the leading exchange over its yet-to-launch lending offering.

Even though the company caved in to the SEC’s demands and shelved the product in question, it seems like it hasn’t buried the hatchet with the formidable regulator.

Earlier this month, Coinbase proposed replacing the agency with a new cryptocurrency-focused regulator, arguing that the laws from the 1930s were not suitable for the “technological revolution.”

The exchange will have to convince Congress to pass a legislation that will establish a dramatically different regulatory regime that it envisions.

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Bitcoin

Legendary Trader Peter Brandt Challenges Binance with Four Questions about 88% BTC Crash

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Here’s what is unclear for Mr. Brandt about mysterious Bitcoin (BTC) flash-crash of Oct. 21, 2021

Prominent trader and analyst Peter Brandt has taken to Twitter to ask his four questions in the context of the flagship crypto’s 88% dropdown.

What do Binance and Binance.US have in common?

First of all, Mr. Brandt challenged the character of corporate relationships between Binance and Binance.US, its unit focused on American markets.

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Also, Mr. Brandt asks whether Binance is planning to release detailed documents to specify statistics for trades, their volume and prices during the flash-crash.

Then, the trading legend asked about the role of the platform in taking the opposite side of a client fills.

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Besides the Binance CEO and co-founder Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, Mr. Brandt mentioned the Interactive Brokers platform, U.S. watchdogs CFTC and SEC and Gary Gensler, the SEC chairman.

Most expensive “trading algorithm bug” ever?

Also, Mr. Brandt attached a screenshot of a tweet by CZ when Binance’s boss warned his audience about expected volatility spikes across cryptocurrency markets.

Finally, Mr. Brandt added that he never used Binance for trading.

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As covered by U.Today previously, on Oct. 21, 2021, amidst a spending rally, the Bitcoin (BTC) price briefly tanked to the $8,000 level, losing more than 88% in no time.

A similar flash-crash was registered on 26 other low-liquidity exchanges. A Binance.US representative attributed this dramatic plunge to a critical bug in third-party mechanisms by one of the platform’s sophisticated institutional clients.

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Crypto Exchange

Crypto investments a financial backup for Facebook whistleblower

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Frances Haugen, a former Facebook employee turned whistleblower, revealed that her refuge in Puerto Rico is currently being supported by an auspiciously timed cryptocurrency investment.

Haugen worked as a Facebook product manager before accusing the company of spreading controversial and insensitive misinformation. She allegedly possesses numerous confidential research documents, which, according to her, shows that “Facebook prioritizes profit over the well-being of children and all users.” Previously, Facebook has been accused of influencing the 2016 United States presidential election with the help of Russian agencies.

In a follow-up interview with The New York Times, Haugen was asked about her financial situation:

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“For the foreseeable future, I’m fine, because I did buy crypto at the right time.”

The whistleblower also received financial help from nonprofit organizations (NPO) backed by Pierre Omidyar, a co-founder of eBay. However, Haugen clarified that Omidyar’s NPO fundings were only used to finance travel and related expenses.

According to Haugen, shifting to Puerto Rico helped her join her “crypto friends” who enjoy capital tax exemptions on Bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrency assets.

Iconic whistleblower and former U.S. Central Intelligence Agency agent Edward Snowden also continues to show support for the Bitcoin economy amid regulatory pressures from governments across the world.

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On Oct. 4, Snowden tweeted about Bitcoin’s tenfold growth despite China’s blanket ban on crypto mining and trading.

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