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Bank of America, Wells Fargo offering access to bitcoin ETFs

On Behalf of | Mar 8, 2024 | Firm News

Two major banks have begun offering spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds to their eligible wealth management clients, according to AdvisorHub.

Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill arm and Wells Fargo & Co.’s brokerage unit are providing the ETFs, which invest directly in bitcoin, to clients with brokerage accounts upon request.

The move comes after the Securities and Exchange Commission voted in January to approve nearly a dozen new bitcoin exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, according to the New York Times.

The vote, seen as a milestone for the crypto industry, allows U.S. ETFs that hold bitcoin to be sold to the public for the first time.  It provides everyday investors with an asset that will closely track the price of bitcoin.

The SEC approved 11 applications from asset managers, including from BlackRock, Fidelity, VanEck, and Ark Investments/21Shares, and the funds began trading in U.S. markets.

The entry into the spot bitcoin ETF market by Bank of America and Wells Fargo reflects the growing interest and demand for the funds. Wells Fargo said the ETFs are available for unsolicited purchases, either through Wells Fargo Advisors or the bank’s online WellsTrade platform.  UBS Group AG has also begun offering bitcoin ETFs.

The price of bitcoin has surged over 40% this year in the wake of the SEC’s approval.  The new ETFs are listed on Nasdaq, the New York Stock Exchange and the Chicago Board Options Exchange.

Investors can buy and sell bitcoin ETFs in the same way they trade stocks and will be able to gain profits from the cryptocurrency without the risks of directly owning it.

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