CEO of JPMorgan & Chase Co. Jamie Dimon described cryptocurrencies as “a complete distraction” and compared its tokens to “pet rocks.”
The remarks were made in an interview with CNBC, when he also criticized the publication for its thorough coverage of the cryptocurrency sector.
On the Bitcoin and altcoin market caps, Dimon referred to the former’s monetary value as representative of the whole industry.
“So Bitcoin is worth under a trillion dollars today, and we’re not sure that’s a real market, by the way.”
To further support his stance on the matter, Dimon turned to the purported prevalence of illicit activity within the industry, including cybercrime, exchange tokens, and tax avoidance.
“There’s 20 to 30 billion of ransomware that we know about, 20 to 30 billion of exchange coins that we know about, lots of AML, terrorist financing, tax avoidance, sex trafficking, why do we allow this stuff to take place?”
With that, he called on regulators to focus their attention on the crypto industry, and not on the banks.
JPMorgan is placing a crypto bet?
In 2017, Dimon appeared to soften his stance toward crypto by acknowledging that many of JPMorgan’s clients have an investment interest in the sector.
“They disagree [with me]. That’s what makes markets. So, if they want to have access to buy yourself bitcoin, we can’t custody it but we can give them legitimate, as clean as possible, access.”
JPMorgan announced its support for the cryptocurrency sector in November by concluding its first international transaction on Polygon.
The transfer was a part of a pilot project run by the Monetary Authority of Singapore to examine possible DeFi use cases in the wholesale finance markets, which also included DBS Bank and SBI Digital Asset Holdings.
It was widely accepted that the action represented traditional finance embracing the notion of employing decentralized finance as a tool to modernize global monetary exchange.
But looking back to Dimon’s most recent CNBC remarks, it appears that the pilot program was approved with clenched teeth rather than by a strong conviction in the virtues of cryptocurrency.
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