Is Coinbase’s IPO a Wake Up Call to Crypto-Luddite Brokers?


Coinbase’s IPO has finally captured the attention of the $7 trillion-plus wirehouse brokerage industry.

Last week, when Coinbase, America’s most popular bitcoin brokerage, went public it ended the day with a 30% gain, good for an impressive $86 billion market cap. That’s more than double the market cap of venerable BNY Mellon, whose roots go back to 1784. In some ways the stock offering was a coming out party for bitcoin and cryptocurrency investing, which has long been dismissed by many on Wall Street as fool’s gold.

Well-heeled clients are now demanding bitcoin as an investable alternative asset and wealth managers are loathe to be typecast as the luddites of the blockchain age.

Many of the largest firms on Wall Street have already made pronouncements both publicly and privately about their intentions to start working in the digital asset space. Despite that, none of the major firms, including Morgan Stanley, UBS, Goldman Sachs and BNY Mellon would offer any advisors or executives to speak to Forbes on the record about their approach and intentions with regard to cryptocurrencies.

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