JPMorgan has apparently become the primary large US bank to permit all wealth-management clients with access to bitcoin and other cryptocurrency funds, in an odd twist, considering CEO Jamie Dimon’s well-known disdain of the industry. Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust, Bitcoin Cash Trust, Ethereum Trust, Ethereum Classic products, and Osprey Funds’ Bitcoin Trust are among the five crypto products that advisors in JPMorgan’s $630 billion wealth management business can now take orders to purchase and sell. According to an internal memo obtained by Business Insider, the policy change took effect on July 19.
“There has been a noticeable uptick in digital currency adoption from large asset managers,” a Grayscale spokeswoman told Forbes when asked for comment. Wealth managers are taking the time to learn about digital currencies as investors continue to ask questions, and firms like JPMorgan are figuring out the best ways to offer Bitcoin, including Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) – the world’s largest Bitcoin fund – and other crypto-related products through their platforms.”
“We’re thrilled to be a neighborhood of JPMorgan’s wealth platform. In an interview, Greg King, founder and CEO of Osprey Funds, said, “OBTC is the lowest publicly traded bitcoin fund in the United States, and we believe JPMorgan’s clients will find value in the product.”
All JPMorgan clients, including self-directed individuals who utilize the Chase trading app, affluent JPMorgan Advisors clients, and the private bank’s wealthiest clients, would be affected by the new policy. Crypto traders must be requested by clients, and advisors are not allowed to promote crypto products to them.
JPMorgan Chase previously only enabled private wealth clients to invest in an actively managed bitcoin fund, with custody provided by crypto startup NYDIG. Clients of JPMorgan now have broader access to crypto assets, which comes at a time when customer interest in the crypto market is on the rise, especially after bitcoin hit an all-time high price of $65,654 on April 14, 2021.
The market has since collapsed — bitcoin is currently trading hands at $32,263 — but retail demand for exposure to the volatile asset class as a store of wealth or portfolio diversifier remains strong. Many of JPMorgan’s clients want to invest in digital currencies, according to Mary Callahan Erdoes, the bank’s asset and wealth management chief, who told Bloomberg in July.
Observers will now be watching to see if other Wall Street banks that have offered limited crypto exposure to a select group of clients follow suit. Morgan Stanley MS began allowing institutional clients and hedge funds with at least $2 million in assets access to three bitcoin-related funds in March, while Goldman Sachs GS began offering crypto futures trading to institutional clients and hedge funds in June.
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