Industry Updates

JPMAM’s EMEA ETF distribution head: ‘We will be a spectator on crypto ETFs’

The US asset manager said it will not be entering the crypto ETP space

Theo Andrew

Travis Spence EEU

JP Morgan Asset Management (JPMAM) will not participate in the cryptocurrency exchange-traded product (ETP) space, despite labelling the wrapper a “great access point”.

Speaking at ETF Stream’s ETF Ecosystem Unwrapped event, Travis Spence, head of EMEA ETF distribution at JPMAM, said it will be an interesting space to watch but not one where the group can add value.

“What we have seen in the US since January in the crypto space is that ETFs can provide a great access point,” Spence (pictured) said.

“From our perspective, it is going to be an interesting space to watch, but we are going to be a spectator.”

He added there were two reasons for not entering the space.

Firstly, Spence does not see an “information advantage” the asset manager can bring to the space and secondly, the group is unsure of the role cryptocurrencies will play in a multi-asset portfolio.

“We do not feel we can add an active lens [on crypto] as we do not feel there is an information advantage that we have from an academic perspective,” he said.

“Secondly, if we look at our multi-asset portfolios across JPMAM, we do not use crypto and do not know where that fits in a multi-asset portfolio.”

Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan, has been a long-time critic of bitcoin and has repeatedly called for the cryptocurrency to be banned.

The group does however have a blockchain business and also has its own stablecoin JPM Coin which it offers to institutional clients.

Flows have been piling into bitcoin ETFs in the US since they came to market in January, with 34 ETFs housing over $59bn assets under management.

BlackRock’s $19.5bn iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT) recently became the largest ETF in the space, overtaking the $19.3bn Grayscale Bitcoin Trust ETF (GBTC).

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