A Merrill Lynch spokesperson confirmed the decision to the Journal, and referred CNBC to the report when contacted for comment.
GBTC is traded over the counter, rather than through a formal venue like the New York Stock Exchange. The bitcoin trust is the top holding of two of Ark Invest’s exchange-traded funds, which unsurprisingly were among the top performing ETFs last year, according to ETF.com.
Merrill Lynch previously banned access to the bitcoin futures that CME, the world’s largest futures exchange, and its competitor Cboe launched in mid-December.
Bitcoin has soared more than 1,300 percent over the last 12 months and drew strong criticism that the digital currency is in a highly speculative bubble.