By Guest Author – Sam Reads, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Merrill Lynch a brokerage arm of the Bank of America has banned its financial advisors from trading. Bitcoin-related investment. This prevents its 17000 financial advisors from suggesting, complying or placing positions of Bitcoin-related investments on the request of its clients. The brokerage arm cited the suitability, eligibility, and standard as the main concerns of imposing the ban on Grayscale’s Bitcoin Investment Trust. The GBTC is a forward contract and is traded using “ over the counter” as opposed to those traded via NYSE. The fund is led by Barry Silbert under Grayscale Investments who previously was an investment banker on Wall Street. He is currently a bitcoin visionary leader and entrepreneur in the Bitcoin market. Given the gain in value of Bitcoin in 2016, the GBTC was the among top gainers in EFTs trading in 2016 and 2017.
The brokerage firm had previously blocked access to bitcoin futures traded at the world, largest future exchange and the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE). Merrill Lynch joins Citigroup, Bank of America and others as financial institutions that have taken a tough stand on the Bitcoin. This however, resulted in any impact on the overall bitcoin price as it continues to stabilize. Its demand has been increasing from the Asian market with some countries like Japan and South Korea have lenient regulations on the cryptocurrencies. However, some countries regulatory authorities and central banks have warned of a possible fall of the cryptocurrency.
The bitcoin has faced opposition from traditional Wall Street financial Institutions, even after other large players such as the CME Group and CBOE introducing the Bitcoin futures to their portfolio. The opposition is so toxic that the Futures Industry Association (FIA) a major lobby group filed complaints with the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission on the impact of Bitcoin on investments. The lobby is made up of influential Wall Street banks like JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs. In retaliation, the CEO of (CBOE) dismissed as a “cheap shot”s tactic against the bitcoin Futures referring the complaints as dishonest and uncalled for.
2017 proved the potential of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to be unexplored with new altcoins and ICOs launching every day. Even with the introduction of regulations and banning, the Cryptocurrency market has maintained itself with the bitcoin rising to its highest of over $20000 in most exchanges. Eventually, such opposition will result to increase of speculative buyers and investors that will help steer the Bitcoin and other digital currencies.