Merrill Lynch, the brokerage arm of Bank of America, has blocked financial advisers and clients from trading in bitcoin-related investments.
The ban extends to clients trading in Grayscale's Bitcoin Investment Trust, a fund led by bitcoin entrepreneur Barry Silbert. The decision to block access to the fund was due to concerns about the "suitability and eligibility standards of this product," an internal memo circulated to approximately 17,000 advisers states.
The source also said that existing bitcoin funds cannot be held in fee-based advisory accounts, but can be maintained in brokerage accounts.
Silbert, a former Wall Street investment banker, told Reuters:
The Futures Industry Association (FIA) published an open letter to the CFTC before the launch of bitcoin futures, airing concerns over the process in which cryptocurrency futures have come to market. Big banks and brokers including JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and Royal Bank of Canada have all denied clients access to bitcoin futures, the WSJ report says.
Disclosure: Grayscale Investments is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, CoinDesk's parent company.
Merrill Lynch image via Shutterstock
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