Bitcoin About-Face: JPMorgan Opens Crypto Trading To All Clients

Forbes

NEW YORK,NY – SEPTEMBER 25: Jamie Dimon, chairman and chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co … [+] speaks on September 25,2019 in New York,US. (Photo by Misha Friedman/Getty Images)

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In an ironic twist given CEO Jamie Dimon’s well-established distrust of the industry, JPM JPM organ has reportedly become the first major US bank to provide all wealth-management clients with access to bitcoin and other cryptocurrency funds.

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Advisors in JPMorgan’s $630 billion wealth management division can now accept orders to buy and sell five crypto products including Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust, Bitcoin Cash Trust, Ethereum Trust, Ethereum Classic products, and Osprey Funds’ Bitcoin Trust. The policy change became effective on July 19, according to an internal memo obtained by Business Insider. 

The new policy applies to all JPMorgan clients, including self-directed clients using the Chase trading app, affluent clients of JPMorgan Advisors, and the richest tier of clients served by the private bank. Advisors are not allowed to recommend crypto products to clients, and the clients must ask to make crypto trades. 

Previously, JPM only allowed private wealth clients to invest in an actively managed bitcoin fund, with crypto firm NYDIG providing custody services. 

The expanded access to crypto products for JPMorgan clients comes as retail interest in the crypto market is on the rise, especially after bitcoin hit its all-time-high price of $65,654 on April 14, 2021. Since then, the market has deflated — at the time of writing bitcoin is trading hands at $32,263 — however retail demand for gaining exposure to the volatile asset class as a store-of-value or portfolio diversifier remains strong. 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.

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Observers will now look to see if other Wall Street banks that have also offered limited crypto exposure to select clients follow suit. In March, Morgan Stanley MS began offering clients with at least $2 million in assets held access to three funds with bitcoin exposure, and in June Goldman Sachs GS began offering crypto futures trading to institutional clients and hedge funds.

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Requests for comment from JPMorgan, Grayscale, and Osprey were not answered by the time of publication.

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Author: Emily Mason, Contributor


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