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Wells Fargo to onboard active cryptocurrency strategy for rich clients

May 19 (Reuters) - Wells Fargo & Co said on Wednesday its investment institute is planning to evaluate and onboard an actively managed cryptocurrency strategy for its wealthy clients, the latest move by a major U.S. bank toward accepting digital currencies.

In a report titled “The investment rationale for cryptocurrencies”, the Wells Fargo Investment Institute (WFII) said it views digital assets as an alternative investment for qualified investors through a professionally managed fund.

"WFII believes that cryptocurrencies have gained stability and viability as assets, but the risks lead us to favor investment exposure only for qualified investors, and even then through professionally managed funds," it said. (bit.ly/33Xu07i)

Goldman Sachs Group Inc moved to allow Wall Street investors to trade with a derivative tied to bitcoin prices, Bloomberg News reported earlier this month.

Bitcoin has been gaining mainstream acceptance in recent months. Morgan Stanley in March became the first big U.S. bank to offer its wealth management clients access to bitcoin funds, according to a CNBC report.

JPMorgan Chase & Co is also preparing to let certain clients invest in an actively managed bitcoin fund for the first time, CoinDesk reported in April. (bit.ly/3v1cyKJ)

Bank of NY Mellon Corp in February formed a new unit to help clients hold, transfer and issue digital assets.

Bitcoin and ethereum posted their largest one-day percentage drop since March last year on Wednesday, after China banned financial and payment institutions from providing cryptocurrency services.

Reporting by Niket Nishant and Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel

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