JPMorgan gave its financial advisors the green ligh to provide all of its wealth-management clients access to cryptocurrency funds, making it the first major US bank to do so.
The bank has been putting a lot of effort into growing its $630 billion wealth management business, told advisors in a memo earlier this week that they'll be able to accept orders for the purchase and sell five bitcoin products, four from Grayscale Investments and one from Osprey Funds, effective July 19.
A person directly familiar with the move said it applies to all JPMorgan clients seeking investment advice, including self-directed clients using the bank's commission-Chase trading app for free, mass affluent clients whose assets are managed by financial advisors through JPMorgan Advisors, as well as ultra-affluent clients who are using private banking services.
Advisors at JPMorgan can only perform "unsolicited" crypto trades, which means they can't advocate the products but can purchase or sell on behalf of a client's request. Grayscale's Bitcoin Trust, Bitcoin Cash Trust, Ethereum Trust, and Ethereum Classic vehicles, as well as Osprey Funds' Bitcoin Trust, are among the funds JPMorgan has approved, according to the source.
Grayscale and Osprey Funds spokesmen confirmed that their respective funds are now available to JPMorgan's clients via emailed remarks to Insider, and said they were happy to partner with the bank on digital currency products.
JPMorgan announced in April that it was planning to launch an actively managed bitcoin fund for private wealth customers this summer, as CoinDesk first reported.
After the bank's CEO, Jamie Dimon, threatened to fire employees who traded bitcoin in 2017, the move represents a watershed moment in the bank's digital asset operations. Despite increased customer interest in crypto, Dimon has recently softened his stance on the asset class. In May, he stated that he was still not a proponent of the asset class.
Many of JPMorgan's clients see Cryptocurrency as an asset class and want to invest in it, as according Mary Callahan Erdoes, the bank's asset and wealth management chief.
Rival banks such as Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Bank of America have not provided direct access to crypto products to their retail wealth clientele. Morgan Stanley became the first big bank to offer wealthy clients — those with at least $2 million in invested assets — access to bitcoin funds in April, through a partnership with Galaxy Digital, according to CNBC.
Last month, Goldman Sachs began offering crypto futures trading to institutional and hedge fund clients. In March, CNBC reported that it was on the verge of giving bitcoin and other digital assets to its wealthiest clientele.
What do you think about JPMorgan will provide access to crypto funds to all of its wealth management clients? Let us know in the comments section below.