Merrill Lynch, a large US bank that was integrated into the Bank of America several years ago, banned its customers and consultants who carry out transactions on their behalf to buy bitcoin through the Grayscale Investment Trust. This writes WSJ with reference to a source familiar with the situation. Earlier, Merrill Lynch refused to provide customers with access to bitcoin futures.
“The decision to close the GBTC for new transactions was dictated by concerns related to the fitness and viability of the standards of this product,” Merrill Lynch wrote in the document for internal use.
Grayscale Bitcoin Investment Trust or GBTC is a trust fund operating exclusively with bitcoin, the yield of which is determined by the indicators of the cryptocurrency. It was created as a tool for traditional investors wishing to earn on the growth rate of bitcoin.
In Merrill Lynch, there is no consensus on the latest decision of the bank’s management. Some consultants complain that they miss the opportunity to trade, which their clients are actively interested in.
Others argue that restricting access to bitcoin will help protect investors from excessive risks.
“I think this is a very good idea,” said one of them. “The company made its own assessment and found that the risk is too great.”
“When you buy the currency of a certain country, you invest money in this country, based on economic indicators and data on the money supply. When you buy bitcoin, you just buy bitcoin,” he added.
In October last year, analysts at Merrill Lynch said that the real cost of bitcoin can not be estimated.