JPMorgan Opens Crypto Access To Retail Wealth Clients

JPMorgan Opens Crypto Access To Retail Wealth Clients

JPMorgan has greenlit its affiliated financial advisors to provide its wealth-management clients access to cryptocurrency funds, becoming the first major U.S. bank to connect retail wealth clients with crypto.

The U.S.-based bank has recently bolstered its strategy to scale its $630 billion wealth-management business. Alongside this recent push, JPMorgan has released a memo to financial advisors that they can now take orders for buying and selling four cryptocurrency products from Grayscale Investments, and another from Osprey Funds.

The recently released memo, however, specifies that advisors can only execute “unsolicited” crypto trades, which means that advisors cannot directly offer or tangentially recommend the products. In effect, JPMorgan’s advisors are now able facilitate the trades on behalf of a client, as requested.

According to sources familiar with the matter, the memo applies to all JPMorgan clients looking for investment advice. Clients from the commission-free Chase trading app, clients managed by JPMorgan Advisors, as well as some elite clients. Business Insider reports that these prospective investors will be provided crypto exposure (for both Bitcoin and Ethereum) through the products offered by Grayscale Investments (Bitcoin Trust, Bitcoin Cash Trust, Ethereum Trust, and Ethereum Classic) and Osprey Funds (Bitcoin Trust).

The funds will enable JPMorgan clients to gain exposure to crypto, but would not allow clients to directly own the listed cryptocurrencies ($BTC, $BCH, $ETH, and $ETC). These investment products offered by Grayscale and Osprey provide investors with a method of staking on the crypto space by selling shares that track the price and market value of crypto assets such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, with the two firms purchasing and holding these crypto assets on behalf of investors.

Grayscale is the crypto and blockchain space’s largest operating asset management firm, with roughly $27.5 billion in assets under management. Grayscale recently made the news with its unlocking of some 16,000 BTC worth of GBTC (Grayscale Bitcoin Trust) shares, with 40,000 more BTC slated to be unlocked over a six-month lock-in period. Grayscale is owned by Digital Currency Group, a venture capital firm based in New York.

JPMorgan’s recent move into offering crypto exposure may be seen as a controversial decision, given how in 2017, its CEO, Jamie Dimon, expressed opposition to cryptocurrencies, even threatening to fire JPMorgan workers who traded crypto.

Competitors to JPMorgan such as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley have started their own ventures into crypto, with the former offering crypto futures trading to institutional clients and hedge funds, and the latter partnering with Galaxy Digital to offer access to Bitcoin funds to eligible clients.
Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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