For the Bitcoin investors, traders and miners it seems to be a major development that JPMorgan Chase began pitching its Private Bank clients on an in-house bitcoin fund for the first time this week, completing its transformation from the never-bitcoin mega-bank to a genuine player in the digital assets space.
The fund will be presented to clients as the safest and cheapest bitcoin investment vehicle available on the private markets.
That’s keeping with the party line from the bank’s bitcoin skeptic CEO, Jamie Dimon. Despite his historically vehement disdain for spooky internet money, Dimon has repeatedly said that clients want the stuff, and therefore JPMorgan has a responsibility to deliver it safely.
“I am not a Bitcoin supporter, I don’t really care about Bitcoin,” Dimon told the Wall Street Journal in May. “On the other hand, clients are interested and I don’t tell clients what to do.”
The private fund would also act as an easy port over to a bitcoin exchange-traded fund once that long-sought product clears the high bar of the Securities and Exchange Commission, a source said.
JPMorgan does not currently have a bitcoin ETF bid before the SEC, but nearly a dozen other firms do. Others are waiting with eagerness; Grayscale is widely expected to convert its high-fee Grayscale Bitcoin Trust product to an ETF once the time is right.
NYDIG has also filed for a bitcoin ETF application and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the United States has begun reviewing.
All wealth management clients of the bank recently gained the ability to access bitcoin funds such as GBTC through JPMorgan brokerage account. However, the new bitcoin fund is limited to customers of JPMorgan Private Bank.