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JPMorgan Makes Crypto Available to All Wealth Clients: Report

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What You Need to Know

  • All JPMorgan clients seeking investment advice now reportedly have access to five cryptocurrency funds.
  • That makes JPMorgan the first large U.S. bank to give crypto trading access to clients other than just its ultra-wealthy ones.
  • Osprey Funds CEO confirmed that his company is providing one of the funds to JPMorgan.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. started allowing all its retail wealth management clients to access cryptocurrency funds, becoming the latest large financial firm to throw its support behind crypto, according to a Business Insider report on Thursday.

That makes JPMorgan the first large U.S. bank to give crypto trading access to clients other than its wealthiest ones.

JPMorgan told its financial advisors in a memo earlier this week that, effective July 19, they could take buy and sell orders from their wealth management clients for five cryptocurrency products, the Business Insider report said.

Four of those products are from Grayscale Investments: the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, Bitcoin Cash Trust, Ethereum Trust and Ethereum Classic Trust. The other fund is the Osprey Bitcoin Trust.

The funds are reportedly available to all JPMorgan clients seeking investment advice, including the ultra-wealthy serviced by its private bank, self-directed clients who use its commission-free Chase trading app and mass affluent JPMorgan Advisors clients.

JPMorgan declined to comment on the report Friday. It also declined to comment on its current position on cryptocurrency in general.

However, Greg King, CEO and founder of Osprey Funds, submitted a comment to ThinkAdvisor on Friday, saying: “We are excited to be onboarded to the JPMorgan wealth platform. OBTC [the Osprey Bitcoin Trust] remains the lowest-priced publicly traded bitcoin fund in the U.S. and we believe JPMorgan’s clients will see value in the product.”

Dimon’s Crypto Flip

In 2018, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon had second thoughts about wading into the Bitcoin controversy. After earlier calling the cryptocurrency a “fraud,” he said in January that he wished he hadn’t dismissed the technology in such broad terms.

“I regret making” those comments, Dimon said in an interview with the Fox Business network. “The blockchain is real. You can have crypto yen and dollars and stuff like that.”

In September 2017, Dimon had said Bitcoin was “worse than tulip bulbs,” and threatened to fire any trader who bought or sold them for being “stupid.”

He said in January 2018 that he was still not very interested in the subject, and thought government intervention could eventually hamper Bitcoin’s growth and acceptance.

In 2019, JPMorgan said it was turning to crypto to modernize one of its most central businesses. The biggest U.S. bank said it developed a prototype digital coin that it planned to use to speed up payments between corporate customers. The token, dubbed JPM Coin, was based on blockchain technology.

Earlier this year, the firm was reportedly preparing to offer a Bitcoin fund to wealthy clients in the latest sign that Wall Street was warming to the largest cryptocurrency after it soared in recent months. The actively managed fund would be available as soon as this summer, CoinDesk reported in April, citing sources familiar with the plans.

(Photo: Shutterstock)