On Wednesday, JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon once again lashed out fiercely at cryptocurrencies. But do his arguments really hold up given his bank’s activities? Let’s explore this in detail.
Jamie Dimon lashes out at cryptocurrencies again
We see it every time we speak, the arguments put forward by anti-crypto personalities are often nothing more than clichés that have already been dismantled many times over. But for some, like Jamie Dimon, JP Morgan’s CEO, it’s almost like a rehearsal comedy, so similar are his regular outbursts on the subject.
At a hearing before the U.S. Senate on the subject of “Annual Oversight of Wall Street Firms”, for example, he had some very trenchant words to say about Bitcoin (BTC) and other crypto-currencies:
“The only real use cases are for criminals, drug dealers, money laundering and tax evasion. […] If I were the government, I’d shut them down. “
Such comments, in addition to being totally misleading, thus echo the speech he made last year, when he referred to Bitcoin (BTC) as a decentralized Ponzi scheme before the U.S. Congress.
Already at the time, we highlighted the hypocrisy of such an attitude, given that JP Morgan is already well established in the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
This is illustrated in a number of ways, whether through investments in the industry such as with Consensys in 2021, or the JPM Coin powered by the Onyx subsidiary launched the previous year and taking blockchain technologies and centralizing them. Incidentally, the bank currently has 31 vacancies for which the term “blockchain” appears.
Harshly criticized remarks
For his part, Gabor Gurbacs, strategic advisor at Tether en VanEck, criticized Jamie Dimon’s statement, believing that “banks should remain silent” on the subject.
And with good reason, regulators have fined the industry over $380 billion in more than 7,400 cases since 2020. JP Morgan alone has 272 violations and nearly $40 billion in fines, including consumer protection violations:
Top 5 primary offense types of JPMorgan Chase parent company which is the second most penalized financial institution with close to $40 Billion in fines for 272 violations since 2000. pic.twitter.com/SmDmM5qJSw
– Gabor Gurbacs (@gaborgurbacs) December 6, 2023
Of course, we also have to put things in perspective and recognize that the crypto industry has its flaws, too. The FTX affair is the most telling example, and to a lesser extent, Binance also suffered the wrath of the US regulator, leading to a hefty fine and the resignation of its founder.
However, it’s important not to confuse the isolated acts of certain cases with the wider technology of cryptocurrencies, the latter being no more than a morally neutral tool for building a new version of the Internet and improving certain aspects of the financial system.
Furthermore, Chainalysis estimated that for 2022, only 0.24% of crypto transaction volume was associated with criminal activity.