Merrill, Wells Fargo Offering Bitcoin ETFs to Top Clients: Report

With spot Bitcoin ETFs continuing to see a torrent of interest and investment seven weeks into their existence, two of the most storied brands in investing have begun to offer access to the red-hot investment vehicles: Merrill—the wealth management division of Bank of America—and Wells Fargo, according to a Bloomberg report on Thursday.

Citing anonymous sources “familiar with the matter,” the report notes that the two firms are extending the offer to wealth management clients with brokerage accounts.

The “newborn nine” Bitcoin spot ETFs in the U.S. have swelled to hold more than $17 billion in the top cryptocurrency since being approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on January 10. That’s on top of Grayscale, which converted its existing Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), launched in 2013, into a spot Bitcoin ETF and holds another $25 billion in BTC.

ETFs allow investors exposure to the notoriously volatile Bitcoin without holding the asset directly. And that’s clearly an attractive proposition.

With Bitcoin’s bullish moves this year so far, major crypto funds have seen unprecedented inflows—including an eye-popping $2.45 billion tallied two weeks after Bitcoin spot ETFs were approved. Last week, that torrent slowed—but “slow” is relative, with nearly $600 million stuffed into the funds in just seven days.

Analysts are crunching the numbers and scanning the market to determine where all the money flowing into Bitcoin spot ETFs is coming from, a key question being whether retail investors—consumers, rather than professionals, who invest via brokerage companies—have already nabbed a significant piece of the action. Today’s news from two of the largest brokerage firms suggests that’s beginning to happen.

As for the firms that haven’t yet opened the doors to their customers?

“I’m sure pressure is mounting for them,” wrote Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas on Twitter. “They like to see track record and get paid off but [with] grassroots demand like this they gonna have to expedite.”

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Source: https://decrypt.co/219724/merrill-wells-fargo-bank-of-america-bitcoin-etf-retail

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