Investment bank JPMorgan’s crypto and blockchain efforts are on a roll. The bank is now looking to offer an actively managed bitcoin fund for clients in its private wealth division. With the latest move, JPMorgan would be the latest and biggest US megabank to adopt crypto as an asset class. The development, which was reported by CoinDesk on Monday, may see the bitcoin fund launched as soon as this summer. The move would also signal a shift in the company’s outlook towards cryptocurrencies as its CEO Jamie Dimon had reportedly called bitcoin a dangerous fraud in 2017 and had also threatened to fire employees who traded bitcoin. Last month, according to a CNBC report, Morgan Stanley had become the first big US bank to offer its wealthy clients access to bitcoin funds after they demand exposure to the cryptocurrency.
Comments from JPMorgan regarding the development were not immediately available.
Even as the bitcoin fund is the latest step by JPMorgan, its investment, commercial banking, and wealth management divisions have gradually evolved in their treatment of crypto and blockchain. As per CoinDesk, the bank’s research analysts regularly issue market insight on bitcoin’s price and prospects in reports available to clients. In February, it had tested blockchain’s decentralised network in space to see if two machines could transact autonomously. The experiment involved carrying out blockchain-based payments between satellites in space “which validated the approach towards a decentralized network where communication with the earth is not necessary,” according to a statement by the Nasdaq-listed manufacturer and supplier of nanosatellites for customers in the academic, government, and commercial markets – GomSpace.
Earlier this month, JPMorgan had launched a new solution called Confirm using blockchain technology to improve funds transfers between banking institutions globally and to help bring down the number of “rejected or returned transactions caused by mismatched payment details,” according to the investment bank. As a result, the solution will lead to lowering costs for both the sending and receiving banks. “JPMorgan getting into blockchain is going to help a lot on the institutional side of fund transfers. It is looking to resolve the clearing and settlement problem which happens in the bank-to-bank transfers and takes multiple days to settle. With blockchain, JPMorgan and banks will be able to settle it in near real-time,” Ashish Agarwal, a blockchain expert and Founder of PayO — neo banking platform for SMEs – had told Financial Express Online.