Morgan Stanley is join to rival Goldman Sachs in clearing bitcoin futures trades for clients, a sign that the crypto is becoming increasingly mainstream.
The news comes as a boost to bitcoin, in what has been an extremely testing week. A sharp sell-off saw bitcoin trade below $10,000 on Wednesday.
“If someone wants to do a trade on the futures and settle in cash, we’ll do that. I wouldn’t say it’s been a lot of activity, but it’s for core institutional clients who want to participate in a derivatives transaction,” said Morgan Stanley chief financial officer Jonathan Pruzan in an interview with Bloomberg News.
Pruzan said Morgan Stanley had been clearing the bitcoin futures trades made by CBOE Global Markets and CME Group, which launched bitcoin futures in December.
Bitcoin was trading up 5%, at $11,780, as at 0840 GMT.
"The bulls and bears fought it out and some sort of calm has appeared on the markets after what has been a severe correction," said Charles Hayter, chief executive of CryptoCompare, commenting on the recent recovery in crypto prices.
Ripple (XRP) has been even more volatile than bitcoin in recent trading sessions. The crypto was up 22% on Friday, to trade at $1.66.
XRP has been boosted by news of a series of partnerships with major financial services firms, the most recent of which was announced last week with money transfer company MoneyGram.