Pressure is building on Wall Street banks to accept bitcoin as a legitimate asset class — and it’s coming from within, CNBC has learned.
Last month, during a town hall meeting held for thousands of JPMorgan Chase traders and sales personnel around the world, global markets head Troy Rohrbaugh acknowledged a question that is increasingly being asked by the bank’s own employees: When will they get involved in bitcoin?
To answer that question, Rohrbaugh, who had logged into the Jan. 18 Zoom call from his New York office, brought on his boss, JPMorgan co-president Daniel Pinto, according to people with knowledge of the meeting.
In a response that took up a chunk of the hour-long call, Pinto signaled he was open-minded about bitcoin, said the people, who declined to be identified when speaking about an internal event. When asked later by CNBC to clarify his remarks, Pinto, who leads the world’s biggest investment bank by revenue, said the firm’s decision would be informed by whether a critical mass of clients wanted the firm to trade bitcoin.
“If over time an asset class develops that is going to be used by different asset managers and investors, we will have to be involved,” Pinto said in an interview. “The demand isn’t there yet, but I’m sure it will be at some point.”