JP Morgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM) is preparing to roll out a Bitcoin fund to certain clients, according to reports, in a move that will prove something of a volte-face for its boss Jamie Dimon.
On Monday, a CoinDesk report cited sources saying the banking giant could unveil the new fund as soon as the summer, with Bitcoin-focused finance firm NYDIG to act as custody provider. The fund will be available to JP Morgan’s private wealth clients and will be actively managed in contrast to passive funds such as those offered by other participants such as Galaxy Digital and Pantera Capital.
The arrival of a JP Morgan crypto fund will also mark a U-turn for Dimon, who at a banking conference in 2017 dubbed Bitcoin a “fraud” that “wouldn’t end well”, although his rhetoric has cooled in recent years.
While Dimon’s personal views may not have shifted much in the intervening years, JP Morgan’s approach to Bitcoin may have been softened by the crypto’s stratospheric rise over the last year, with its price having boomed over 600% since last April giving it a market cap of around US$1 trillion.
JP Morgan is also not the first major corporate to dip its toe in the crypto waters, with electric car maker Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) surprising the market in February by revealing that it had invested US$1.5bn into Bitcoin before then announcing that it will allow customers to purchase its vehicles using the cryptocurrency.
In late afternoon trading in London on Monday, Bitcoin was up 6.3% over 24 hours at US$53,727. Over in the US markets, JP Morgan shares rose 1.3% to US$152.04 in mid-morning deals in New York.