JPMorgan Chase, the largest U.S. bank, has reportedly opened access to cryptocurrency funds for all of the clients in its wealth management division, according to a memo obtained by Business Insider.
In a U.S. banking first, cryptocurrency exposure will not be limited to only rich clients.
In March, Morgan Stanley launched access to three Bitcoin funds, but the offering was only available to high-net-worth individuals due to the bank's aggressive risk tolerance.
JPMorgan's financial advisers are now allowed to execute trades with the shares of Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and the Ethereum Classic funds of leading cryptocurrency asset manager Grayscale Investments. It will also be able to offer exposure to a Bitcoin fund operated by Osprey Funds.
However, soliciting investors will be prohibited, meaning that wealth management advisors will only be able to accept orders from clients.
In a recent Bloomberg interview, Mary Callahan Erdoes, JPMorgan's director of asset and wealth management, said that many of the bank's clients viewed Bitcoin as a new asset class:
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.
Despite the fact that the bank is getting involved in crypto, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon remains a stubborn Bitcoin bear. As reported by U.Today, he recently recommended staying away from crypto but begrudgingly admitted that there was demand among clients:
My own personal advice to people is stay away from it. That does not mean the clients don't want it. This goes back to how you have to run a business. I don't smoke marijuana, but if you make it nationally legal, I'm not going to stop our people from banking it. I don't tell people how to spend their money.
Still, the billionaire banker has seemingly softened his stance on crypto compared to September 2017, when he blasted Bitcoin as a "fraud."