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Wall Street Firms Advise Clients Against Investing in Crypto, Says Wealth Manager

05/05/2020

Top U.S. banks JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs could be talking their clients out of crypto, according to a wealth manager.

JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs are advising their clients against Bitcoin (BTC), according to one American wealth manager. 

Adam Pokornicky, chief operating officer at Digital Asset Investment Management (DAIM), a U.S.-registered investment advisor for digital assets, claimed that his firm almost lost a client due to the banks’ intervention.

In an interview with Cointelegraph, Pokornicky described his client as a lawyer and a “high net worth individual”, adding that they’ve been acquainted for a long time. “He’s both a friend and someone I’ve worked with over the years,” the wealth manager explained.

According to Pokornicky, his client was ready to buy a minor amount of BTC for his portfolio, but had a sudden change of heart after talking to advisors from JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs. “For him going from wanting to buy 1 Bitcoin to him not being interested means he was talked out of it”, said Pokornicky, whose attempts to get more context have been unsuccessful. “I still don’t know what was said to him”.

Banks’ love-hate relationship with crypto

The wealth manager argued that Wall Street institutions tend to advise against crypto as per their company guidelines:

“My partner and I both worked on the buy side at a Hedge fund and/or Trading for most of our careers and we have an inordinate amount of wall street friends and colleagues that still work at big banks like Morgan Stanley, Goldman, JPM, Wells Fargo, Merrill/BofA who are completely restricted from buying Bitcoin or have to go through insane compliance hoops to do it. The advisors that work for the Wealth Management divisions have a HARD NO Bitcoin policy.”

JPMorgan’s public relationship with cryptocurrencies have been complex. The bank’s CEO Jamie Dimon is a renowned Bitcoin naysayer who went from saying that he “doesn’t really give a shit about Bitcoin” to launching JPM Coin, a stablecoins-inspired digital asset. 

Goldman Sachs has entered the industry a while ago, having invested in a number of key projects like payments application Circle and cloud-based supply chain company Tradeshift. 

When asked whether he managed to pursue his client to get into Bitcoin after all, Pokornicky replied: 

“No not yet. My sense is he’ll come around, most likely at higher prices. They usually all do eventually.”

JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.