JPMorgan has become the first major US bank to offer bitcoin and other cryptocurrency funds to all of its wealth management.
Advisors in JPMorgan’s wealth management division – which oversees $630 billion worth of assets – are now able to accept orders to buy and sell five crypto products. These are Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust, Bitcoin Cash Trust, Ethereum Trust and Ethereum Classic Trust, as well as Osprey Funds’ Bitcoin Trust. According to an internal memo obtained by Business Insider, the policy change came into effect on 19th July.
Greg King, Osprey Funds founder and CEO, told Forbes: “We are excited to be onboarded to the JPMorgan wealth platform. OBTC remains the lowest-priced publicly traded bitcoin fund in the U.S. and we believe JPMorgan’s clients will see value in the product,”
Crypto trading is now available to all JPMorgan clients, which includes self-directed clients using the Chase app, clients of JPMorgan Advisors, and the richest tier of clients that are served by the private bank. Under the rules, advisors are prohibited from recommending any crypto products to their clients. The move is somewhat of an ironic twist, given CEO Jamie Dimon’s well known distrust of the crypto industry.
Previously, the bank only let private wealth clients to invest in an activity-managed bitcoin fund. Custody services were provided by crypto firm NYDIG.
JPMorgan’s decision to make crypto more accessible to all its clients comes amidst a rising retail interest in the market. Interest peaked when Bitcoin hit its all time high of $65,654 last April, and though the market has since deflated with Bitcoin now trading close to half of that high, retail demand remains strong.
Mary Callahan Erdoes, asset and wealth management chief at JPMorgan, told Bloomberg in July that a large proportion of the bank’s clients were interested in crypto investments.
It now remains to be seen if other Will Street banks will follow suit. Morgan Stanley began offering bitcoin exposure to clients with at least $2 million in assets held back in March, while in June Goldman Sachs provided institutional clients and hedge funds with access to crypto futures.