Ironically, given CEO Jamie Dimon’s long-standing distrust of the industry and JPM organ’s alleged role in making it the first major US bank to offer all wealth-management clients access to cryptocurrency funds , JPM organ is reportedly the first US bank to do so.
JP Morgan’s $630billion wealth management division now allows advisors to accept orders to purchase and sell five cryptocurrency products. These include Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust and Bitcoin Cash Trust, Ethereum Trust and Ethereum Classic products and Osprey Funds’ Bitcoin Trust. According to an internal memo obtained from Business Insider, the policy change was effective July 19.
All JPMorgan clients are subject to the new policy, which includes self-directed clients who use the Chase trading app, wealthy clients of JPMorgan Advisors and the highest tier of private bank clients. Clients must request to trade crypto, and advisors cannot recommend crypto products.
JPM previously only allowed private clients to invest in a bitcoin fund that was actively managed. Crypto firm NYDIG provided custody services.
JPMorgan clients now have greater access to crypto products. This is especially true after bitcoin reached its record-breaking price of $65,654 in April 2021. The market has declined since then – bitcoin trades at $32,263 at the time of writing – but there is still strong retail demand to gain exposure to volatile assets as a store-of value or portfolio diversifier. Mary Callahan Erdoes, JPMorgan’s asset and wealth-management chief, told Bloomberg in July that many of the bank’s clients want to invest in digital currencies.
Watchers will be watching to see if any other Wall Street banks offer limited crypto exposure to selected clients. Morgan Stanley offered clients with assets of at least $2,000,000 access to three bitcoin-exposed funds in March. Goldman Sachs started offering crypto futures trading in June to institutional clients.
At the time of publication, Osprey, Grayscale and JP Morgan had not responded to requests for comment.