- JPMorgan Chase launched a passively managed in-house bitcoin fund on Wednesday, CoinDesk reported.
- The bank has been offering the product to its private wealth management clients, the report said.
- JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon warned investors as recently as May against betting on crypto assets.
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JPMorgan Chase has set up an in-house bitcoin fund, which it started offering to wealthy customers this week, CoinDesk reported Thursday.
The bank is pitching the passively managed crypto fund to its private bank clients, and it has yet to attract any investment from them, CoinDesk said, citing two sources familiar with the matter.
The fund, set up in partnership with bitcoin-focused financial services provider NYDIG, was launched on a call with advisors on Wednesday, the report said.
JPMorgan declined to comment when contacted by Insider.
News that the Wall Street bank was working on a bitcoin fund for wealth-management clients emerged in April. That CoinDesk report said the fund would be actively managed, unlike the passive crypto funds offered by Pantera Capital, Galaxy Digital and others. These simply track crypto market indexes, rather than use money managers to actively decide allocations.
The bank's CEO Jamie Dimon warned investors about buying crypto assets as recently as May, saying they were inferior to traditional assets. He has previously said he thinks bitcoin is dangerous and fraudulent.
But the CEO of JPMorgan's asset and wealth management business, Mary Callahan Erdoes, told Bloomberg in June that its clients were keen on crypto and saw bitcoin as an asset class.
In July, JPMorgan became the first major bank to allow its retail wealth management clients to invest into crypto products. Customers do not have to be in direct contact with the firm's advisors to invest in the products – everyone from ultrarich private-bank clients to users of the Wall Street Bank's trading app Chase can do so.
Other banks have started offering crypto products over the past year, including Morgan Stanley, which gave wealth management clients access to crypto funds in March and Bank of America, which last month was reported to be offering crypto exchange-traded products to rich investors.
Not all major financial firms have embraced crypto markets. UBS CEO Ralph Hamers confirmed in July the bank does not actively offer crypto products and said he wasn't concerned about losing or missing out on clients because of this.