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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

In the latest sign of Wall Street players warming to bitcoin, the largest U.S. bank wants to issue a debt instrument linked to cryptocurrency-focused companies.

Driving the news: JPMorgan’s proposed “Cryptocurrency Exposure Basket” will be heavy on MicroStrategy, Square and Riot Blockchain stocks, according to a new SEC filing.

Between the lines: The basket gives JPM clients access to the industry's upside without all the fuss of holding cryptocurrencies and digital tokens themselves.

  • Until the SEC approves a bitcoin ETF, stocks of publicly traded companies deep in the bitcoin business may be the next best thing for investors.
  • Leading the pack in the JPM basket is MicroStrategy. The Virginia-based business intelligence firm is famous for snatching up 90,859 BTC ($4.9 billion at today’s prices) since last summer as a hedge against inflation given its dollar-heavy balance sheet.
  • The company's stock will make up 20% of the proposed basket, with Jack Dorsey’s Square coming in second at 18%. The latter recently re-upped its bitcoin holdings, adding $170 million in late February to an earlier $50 million buy. Its 8,027 BTC are now worth $433 million.

The bottom line: While BNY Mellon and Goldman Sachs are getting their hands dirty with cryptocurrency assets themselves, JPMorgan is taking a more circumspect approach (and staying true to CEO Jamie Dimon's infamous dislike of bitcoin).

Go deeper

Updated 27 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Bipartisan police reform negotiations end without deal

Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) with Sens. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) in the Capitol in May 2021. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Bipartisan talks on reforming police tactics and accountability, prompted by George Floyd's murder in May 2020, have ended without a compromise, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), a key negotiator, said Wednesday.

Why it matters: Lawmakers, led by Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) and Sens. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Booker, had been working toward a bipartisan deal for months but things fell apart due to disagreements on qualified immunity and other issues.

Federal Reserve scales back expectations for economic recovery as Delta variant weighs

Fed chair Jerome Powell during a congressional hearing last year. (Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The Fed downgraded near-term expectations for the economy and the labor market, alongside hotter-than-expected inflation, in new estimates out on Wednesday.

Why it matters: It's the first time those closely-watched estimates reflect impact from the delta variant that's already rattled the labor market. Still, Fed chairman Jerome Powell said enough progress has been made to begin to pull back emergency-era measures that have supported the economy.

Biden speaks with Macron for first time since diplomatic crisis

President Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron have a conversation ahead of the NATO summit in Brussels, on June 14, 2021. Photo: Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

President Biden on Wednesday spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron for the first time since a diplomatic row erupted over a scrapped submarine order, per the White House.

Driving the news: Macron said that the French ambassador will return to Washington next week and will resume working with senior U.S. officials.