There has been a ban put in place by the folks at Merrill Lynch which prevents their approximate 17,000 advisors from either pitching investments related to bitcoin to their clients or to execute any requests that their clients may have made when it comes to the trading of the bitcoin investment trust of Grayscale (GBTC).
It is believed that this decision was made as a result of there being concerns about the eligibility standards and the suitability when it comes to this product.
It is believed that the team at Grayscale are open to meeting with the relevant decision-makers at Merrill Lynch in order to quell some of their concerns with a view to potentially getting them to open up to investment once more.
This bitcoin investment trust has been popular in recent times and there are not really too many other brokers that have enacted similar bans as Merrill Lynch has done.
GBTC is there to be traded in an over the counter fashion as opposed to being traded on a more structured or formal method such as on the New York Stock Exchange.
This trust performed well in 2017, and it was the best performing holding of a couple of the Ark Invest’s exchange-traded funds, which also managed to be some of the best-performing ETFs of 2017.
Merrill Lynch has also placed a ban on their advisers accessing bitcoin futures that have been launched by both CME Group which is the most prominent futures exchange in the world, as well as those its competitor has launched back in the mid-December 2017 by the Cboe.
This comes after many people have wanted to invest in the likes of bitcoin after the prices have surged more than 1,200 percent over the past 12 months or so. However, there are a lot of high-level people in the world of finance who are calling it a bubble and they are advising people to avoid investing their money into it.
When it comes to the position of Merrill Lynch, they are allowing the existing bitcoin positions to be maintained inside of the brokerage accounts, but this is not the case for their fee-based advisory accounts.
This policy was first introduced on December 8 in advance of the first bitcoin futures being launched.
The reason Grayscale Investments was started in the first place was to provide a method in which investors could get involved in bitcoin through the use of a more traditional investment medium.
Wall Street has long been wary when it comes to digital currencies as the United States based brokerage arm of UBS had already put a ban in place on their advisers getting involved in bitcoin-related investments.
Others such as Citigroup, Royal Bank of Canada and JPMorgan Chase have also not allowed their clients access to the bitcoin futures markets.
The long-term viability of these currencies is constantly questioned, and a lot of people believe it is a matter of when not if the bubble will burst.