Morgan Stanley Participating in the Acquisition of South Korea’s Top Crypto Exchange, Bithumb

Morgan Stanley is bidding for the acquisition of South Korea-based cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb for a $2 billion valuation, reported a local publication. The article circulated on the leading local search engine Naver.

Bithumb is South Korea's top Bitcoin and crypto exchange, recording $1.89 billion trading volume in the last 24 hours, as per CoinGecko.

The bank is rumored to be in discussion with Bident, the major shareholder of the exchange that owns a 10% stake in Bithumb. Morgan Stanley is reportedly planning between $250 million and $440 million investment.

“Morgan Stanley participated in the acquisition of Bithumb,” the report cited an anonymous senior Bithumb representative while the other source said, “The reason Morgan Stanley used Bident is because it understood that Bident has the right to negotiate a preferred sale to acquire Bithumb Holdings.”

The latest news came right on the heels of the investment banking giant starting to offer its clients access to Bitcoin, although it is limited to their wealthy clients with “an aggressive risk tolerance” and still only much as 2.5% of their net worth.

This move can serve as a catalyst for other banks to follow suit and even relatively modest asset allocation exposure of 5% of a portfolio, “alone would represent $1.5 trillion of incremental capital into bitcoin, said Devin Ryan, an equity research analyst at JMP Securities.

Morgan Stanley has been making a lot of moves in the crypto industry. This month, the bank also invested in NYDIG, and before that, earlier this year, it increased the stake in Bitcoin invested MicroStrategy.

Now, the reports of investing in a crypto exchange have the market excited and extremely bullish on it.

“Traditional financial institutions will come up with their crypto strategies this year. I didn’t expect such a bold move from a tradfi. This will force the other tradfi's to move more quickly,” said SpartanBlack, Partner at the crypto fund The Spartan Group.

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