JPMorgan CEO calls crypto ‘decentralized Ponzi schemes’

In testifying before U.S. (US) lawmakers, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon called himself a “prime skeptic” of “crypto tokens, you call currencies like Bitcoin,” labeling them as “Decentralized Ponzi Scheme”.

During an oversight hearing before the House Financial Services Committee on Sept. 21, Dimon was asked what kept him from being more active in crypto.

Dimon emphasized that he sees value in blockchains, decentralized finance (DeFi), ledgers, smart contracts, and “tokens that do something,” but then started attacking crypto tokens that can be identified as money.

When asked about his thoughts on the draft U.S. stablecoin bill, Dimon said he sees nothing wrong with properly regulated stablecoins, which should be similar to that of money market funds.

Dimon has described bitcoin as a “fraud” and has reiterated in the past that he has no interest in supporting the industry on a personal level. He has at times softened his stance on cryptocurrencies, emphasizing that it can sometimes serve important use cases, such as cross-border payments.

Despite Dimon’s views on the cryptocurrency space, JPMorgan has been making inroads into blockchain technology. The financial giant launched its own in-house stablecoin, JPM Coin, in October 2020, the first cryptocurrency backed by a U.S. bank, aimed at making settlements more efficient.

A week after launching the coin, the bank launched a new business unit called Onyx focused on blockchain technology. Since then, the Onyx platform has been used by large institutional clients for 24/7 global payments.

JPMorgan has also become the first major bank in the Metaverse, following the opening of a virtual lounge in the blockchain-based world Decentraland in February. The move follows a report from the company that called the Metaverse a $1 trillion opportunity.

JPMorgan Chase has been hiring new employees to foray into the blockchain and crypto space, most recently announcing on Sept. 9 that it had hired former Microsoft executive Tahreem Kamptom as its senior payments executive. Kamptom is expected to help JPMorgan explore blockchain technology as his Linkedin bio shows how he has been working on crypto-related payment methods.

related: ‘Most cryptocurrencies are still junk’ and lack use cases – JPMorgan blockchain chief

During the hearing, lawmakers also asked other top U.S. bank CEOs if they have plans to fund cryptocurrency mining. Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser, Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan and Wells Fargo CEO Charles Schaff have all said their banks have no intention of doing so.