JPMorgan CEO Calls Crypto ‘Decentralized Ponzi Schemes’

Testifying before US lawmakers, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon referred to himself as a “primary skeptic” about “crypto tokens you call a currency like Bitcoin,” calling them “decentralized Ponzi schemes.”

Dimon was asked what prevents him from being more active in the crypto space during an oversight hearing held by the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday.

Dimon emphasized that he sees value in blockchain, decentralized finance (DeFi), ledgers, smart contracts and “tokens that do something,” but then moved on to crypto tokens that are identified as currencies.

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

Dimon once described Bitcoin (BTC) as a “scam” and has asserted in the past that he has no interest in supporting the sector on a personal level. He has softened his stance on cryptocurrencies at times, highlighting once that they can serve important use cases at times such as cross-border payments.

Despite Dimon’s views on the cryptocurrency space, JPMorgan has been pushing into the blockchain technology space. The financial giant launched its own stablecoin – JPM Coin in October 2020 – the first cryptocurrency backed by a US bank, which was intended to increase settlement efficiency.

A week after the coin was introduced, the bank launched a new business division dedicated to blockchain technology called Onyx. Since then, the Onyx platform has been used by large institutional clients for global payments around the clock.

JPMorgan also became the first major bank in the Metaverse after opening a virtual lounge in the blockchain-based world Decentraland in February. The move followed a report released by the company, which cited Metaverse as a $1 trillion opportunity.

JPMorgan is recruiting new employees to enter the blockchain and crypto space, as it recently announced on September 9 that it has appointed former Microsoft CEO Tahreem Kamptom as its chief payments executive. Kamptom is expected to help JPMorgan explore blockchain technology as his Linkedin resume has worked on crypto-related payment methods.

Related: “Most Cryptocurrency Still Doesn’t Matter” and Lacks a Use Case – Head of JPMorgan Blockchain

During the hearing, the lawmakers also asked the CEOs of other US banks if they had plans to fund cryptocurrency mining. Citigroup CEO Gene Fraser, Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan and Wells Fargo CEO Charles Scharf have indicated that their banks have no intention of doing so.