JPMorgan reportedly allowed its wealth management clients to get involved with half a dozen cryptocurrency funds over the past month. One of them – a new bitcoin fund created by the digital asset company NYDIG – is only available for private bank customers.
New Crypto Offerings from JPMorgan
According to a CNBC report, the American multinational investment bank – JPMorgan Chase & Co. – has provided its top customers with digital asset exposure to six cryptocurrency funds at the end of last month.
Four of the products are from Grayscale Investments and include Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), Grayscale Bitcoin Cash Trust (BCHG), Grayscale Ethereum Trust (ETHE), and Grayscale Ethereum Classic Trust (ETCG), while Osprey Bitcoin Trust (OBTC) is part of the Osprey Funds.
Per the coverage, only the bank’s private clients will have access to a sixth Bitcoin fund, which the technology and financial services firm New York Digital Investment Group (NYDIG) recently developed.
The information about JPMorgan’s initiative comes somewhat as a surprise since the CEO – Jamie Dimon – has a rather negative opinion on virtual assets. Not long ago, he advised people to stay away from them. Dimon went further, saying that “cryptocurrencies can’t compare with traditional fiat currencies and gold.”
Jamie Dimon. Source: CNBC
Executives of the financial institution also commented on the recent move by El Salvador to make bitcoin legal tender. According to them, the country’s decision would cause economic and legal issues:
“Adoption of bitcoin as legal tender raises a number of macroeconomic, financial, and legal issues that require very careful analysis. We are following developments closely, and we’ll continue our consultations with the authorities.”
Demand for BTC Is High
While being skeptical about cryptocurrencies and especially bitcoin, JPMorgan Chase & Co recently admitted that demand had increased significantly.
Mary Callahan Erdoes – Director of Asset and Wealth Management at the bank – even noted that most customers view BTC as an asset class. To meet the clients’ expectations, the executive assured that JPMorgan would not seize its cryptocurrency services:
“A lot of our clients say, ‘That’s an asset class, and I want to invest,’ and our job is to help them put their money where they want to invest.”
Erdoes pointed out, however, that the bank still has its reservations about deciding to classify cryptocurrencies as an asset class, citing their volatile nature as the main reason:
“It’s a very personal thing. We don’t have Bitcoin as an asset class per se and time will tell whether it has a store of value. But the volatility you see in it today just has to play itself out over time.”