JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon bashes crypto: ‘If I was the government, I’d close it down’

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JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon renewed his attacks on cryptocurrencies, saying they ought to be banned because they are mainly useful for criminal activity. “If I was the government, I’d close it down,” Dimon said before the Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday, according to CNBC. “I’ve always been deeply opposed to crypto, bitcoin, et cetera,” the 67-year-old head of Wall Street’s largest bank said under questioning from Sen. Elizabeth Warren. “The only true use-case for it is criminals, drug traffickers … money laundering, tax avoidance,” he added, per CNBC. Warren supported Dimon’s stance by pointing out that cryptocurrencies have also been linked to Hamas, as well as two other pro-Palestine terrorist groups that reportedly used their multimillion-dollar gains on the bitcoin blockchain to fund their operations. “Today’s terrorists have a new way to get around the Bank Secrecy Act: cryptocurrency,” Warren said. The Democratic Massachusetts senator, Dimon and several other big-bank CEOs in attendance — including Bank of America’s Thomas Moynihan and Citigroup’s Jane Fraser — also agreed that crypto companies should face the same anti-money laundering regulations as the major financial institutions. The moment marked a rare case of agreement between Dimon and Warren, his longtime critic. Representatives for Dimon at JPMorgan did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment. It’s far from the first time Dimon has lashed out against crypto — despite JPMorgan’s involvement with the digital currency, which peaked early this week when the volatile bitcoin breached $42,000 for the first time since April 2022. As recently as October, JPMorgan carried out its first blockchain-based collateral settlement in a transaction that involved BlackRock and Barclays, according to Coindesk. Using the Wall Street behemoth’s Ethereum-based Onyx blockchain as well as its Tokenized Collateral Network, BlackRock tokenized shares in one of its market funds, which were then transferred to Barclays as collateral for an over-the-counter derivatives trade between the two institutions, Coindesk reported at the time. Though JPMorgan’s blockchain investments are comparatively minor to its overall business, the bank has reportedly spent the better part of a decade testing ways to implement crypto into its firm. Despite this, Dimon has publicly lambasted the currency on a host of occasions during this time. In late 2021, he attacked bitcoin as “worthless,” and called the technology “a fraud” and “fool’s gold” at an event hosted by the Institute of International Finance. Though Dimon later said he has “regret” over the comments, he doubled down the comments the following year, when he likened bitcoin and other digital coins to a “decentralized Ponzi scheme.” “I’m a major skeptic of crypto tokens, which you call currency, like bitcoin,” Dimon said during an appearance alongside other banking executives before the House Financial Services Committee last September. “They are decentralized Ponzi schemes, and the notion that it’s good for anybody is unbelievable,” he said. Dimon said that the unregulated crypto marketplace makes it easier for criminals to engage in illicit activity such as money laundering, theft, and sex trafficking. “It is dangerous,” he said.

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