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JPMorgan will allow clients to invest in Bitcoin fund for first time

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JPMorgan Chase is going to offer an actively managed bitcoin fund to certain clients that enables them to invest in Bitcoin. It may become the latest, largest and – if its CEO’s well-documented distaste for bitcoin is any indication – unlikeliest U.S. mega-bank to embrace crypto as an asset class.
The JPMorgan bitcoin fund could roll out as soon as this summer, two sources told CoinDesk. Institutional bitcoin shop NYDIG will serve as JPMorgan’s custody provider, a third source said.
JPMorgan’s invest in bitcoin fund will be actively managed, some sources told CoinDesk. That’s a notable break from the passive fare provided by crypto industry stalwarts like Pantera Capital and Galaxy Digital, which let well-heeled clients buy and hold bitcoin through funds without ever touching it themselves. Galaxy and NYDIG are now providing bitcoin funds to Morgan Stanley clients.
The JPMorgan fund will be for private wealth clients, a source told CoinDesk.
Enabling clients to invest in Bitcoin by JPMorgan marks a sharp turn for the $3 trillion bank.
JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon called bitcoin a dangerous fraud in 2017, threatening then to “fire in a second” any trader who touched the stuff. “If you’re stupid enough to buy it, you’ll pay the price for it one day,” he said.
While he quickly walked back the “fraud” label and has more recently toned down his rhetoric, Dimon, who has repeatedly argued that government regulation of cryptocurrencies is inevitable, maintained late last year that BTC is “not my cup of tea.”
Despite its CEO’s personal disdain for the crypto, top deputies within its Corporate and Investment Banking division acknowledged in February that client demand might make the institution to change.
JPMorgan’s hulking investment, commercial banking and wealth management divisions have gradually evolved in their treatment of crypto and blockchain, even if the client-facing bitcoin fund is new. The bank’s research analysts regularly issue market insight on BTC price and prospects in reports available to clients.
The firm’s Onyx division seeks to speed up interbank payments via blockchain technology and JPM Coin, for example. After five years of quiet development, Onyx is mounting a global hiring campaign for blockchain engineers.
On the Investment Banking side, JPMorgan issued its first crypto-adjacent investment product in March, a structured note tied to the performance of bitcoin proxy stocks such as MicroStrategy and Riot Blockchain.
JPMorgan’s new fund product, however, will be its first directly dependent on bitcoin’s performance.
Bank representatives did not respond to CoinDesk’s questions by press time.

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