Retail wealth clients at American banking giant JPMorgan Chase & Co have been given access to several cryptocurrency products, including Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC). The move makes the bank the first major financial institution in the United States to do so.
JPMorgan Approves Five Crypto Funds
The bank issued a memo to its financial advisors earlier this week, giving them the green light to give all retail wealth clients access to crypto funds, Business Insider reported Thursday, citing sources familiar with the matter.
JPMorgan told its advisors that starting July 19, they can now take buy and sell orders from wealth clients for five crypto funds. Four of the products are powered by leading digital asset manager Grayscale Investments and one from Osprey Funds.
The approved funds include Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, Grayscale Bitcoin Cash Trust, Grayscale Ethereum Trust, Grayscale Ethereum Classic Trust, and Osprey Bitcoin Trust, the report added.
Unsolicited Crypto Trades Only
However, the bank’s advisors are only allowed to execute “unsolicited” crypto trades. In other words, JPMorgan advisors can only take buy or sell orders based on clients’ requests. They are prohibited from recommending any of the crypto products to customers.
The report noted that the new service is available to all of the bank’s clients looking for investment options, including those using the Chase trading app, ultrarich clients, and those whose assets are managed by JPMorgan’s advisors.
JPMorgan Exec: Clients Are Demanding Bitcoin
The milestone comes just a few days after JPMorgan’s director of Asset and Wealth Management, Mary Callahan Erdoes, revealed in an interview that most of the bank’s clients are demanding crypto services as they see bitcoin as an asset class.
As reported, Erdoes noted that to maintain its client base, the financial powerhouse will continue to provide crypto products to its customers to meet up with the growing demand even though it still has not classified cryptocurrency as an asset class.
More Big Banks to Follow?
Although JPMorgan is the first major financial institution in the U.S. to offer its wealthy clients access to crypto funds, rival banks like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley might join the bandwagon in no distant time.
Morgan Stanley, for instance, has already taken the first step by filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to allow its clients to gain bitcoin exposure through the Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust or cash-settled futures.