JPMorgan CEO calls cryptocurrencies 'decentralised Ponzi schemes'

JPMorgan CEO calls cryptocurrencies 'decentralised Ponzi schemes'
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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 22): JPMorgan Chase chief executive officer Jamie Dimon, who testified before US lawmakers, referred to himself as a “major sceptic of crypto tokens that you call currencies like bitcoin”, labelling them as “decentralised Ponzi schemes”.

In a report on Wednesday (Sept 21), crypto industry news portal Cointelegraph said that Dimon was asked what keeps him from being more active in the crypto space during an oversight hearing held by the US House Financial Services Committee on the same day.

It said Dimon emphasised that he sees value in blockchain, decentralised finance, ledgers, smart contracts, and “tokens that do something", but then proceeded to lambast crypto tokens that identify as currencies.

Asked for his thoughts about the draft US stablecoin bill, Dimon said he believes that there is nothing wrong with stablecoins that are properly regulated, and that the regulation should be similar to what money market funds are subject to.

The portal said Dimon had once described bitcoin as a "fraud", and has reiterated in the past he has no interest in backing the sector on a personal level.

He has softened his stance on crypto on occasion, once highlighting that it can serve important use cases at times such as cross-border payments, it said.

Despite Dimon’s views on the cryptocurrency space, JPMorgan has been pushing into the blockchain technology space.

The financial giant launched its own in-house stablecoin — JPM Coin in October 2020 — the first cryptocurrency backed by a US bank, which was aimed at increasing settlement efficiency.

Cointelegraph said JPMorgan also became the first major bank in the metaverse, following the opening of its virtual lounge in the blockchain-based world of Decentraland in February.

The move followed a report that was released by the firm, which referred to the metaverse as a US$1 trillion (RM4.57 trillion) opportunity.

JPMorgan has been hiring new staff to push into the blockchain and crypto space, most recently announcing on Sept 9 that it has hired former Microsoft executive Tahreem Kampton to be its senior payments executive.

Kampton is expected to help JPMorgan explore blockchain tech as his LinkedIn bio shows he has worked on crypto-related payment methods.