Updated 18 May, 2021

JP Morgan CEO Dislikes Bitcoin but the Bank Approves It

Key Takeaways:

  • Jamie Dimon says Bitcoin is not a part of his interests, but clients demand it
  • JP Morgan is yet to offer Bitcoin-related investment products

Jamie Dimon Reiterates His Stance From 2017

Jamie Dimon, the CEO of the largest bank in the US, JPMorgan, remains the notable skeptic he was when he said Bitcoin is a “fraud” in 2017. In an interview for the Wall Street Journal CEO Council last week, Jamie Dimon reiterated his stance on bitcoin and the skyrocketing cryptocurrency market.

“I’m not a bitcoin supporter,” Mr. Dimon said during the 30-minute interview with the WSJ. “I don’t care about bitcoin. I have no interest in it.” However, he could have somewhat softened his opinion on the digital currency as growing demand is pushing the bank to allow bitcoin trading, owning and investing. “On the other hand, clients are interested and I don’t tell clients what to do,” he also mentioned.

The Advent Of a New Coin from JP Morgan

JPMorgan, the investment giant with a balance sheet total of over $3tn, approved its own digital currency, JPM Coin, a stablecoin designed to allow instant transfers of funds between bank accounts. JPM Coin is tied 1:1 to the US dollar.

“Blockchain is real, we use it. Then you have digital currencies that are 100% backed by actual assets,” Mr. Dimon commented. “But people have to remember that a currency is supported by the taxing authority of a country, the rule of law, a central bank.”

JPMorgan has a history of contradictory comments on bitcoin and the emerging crypto industry. In 2017, apart from calling Bitcoin a “fraud”, Jamie Dimon said he will fire anyone investing in the digital asset. “I’d fire them in a second,” he told in a 2017 conference. “For two reasons: It’s against our rules, and they’re stupid. And both are dangerous.”

In 2018, however, JPMorgan’s CEO took a more accommodative approach to bitcoin when the asset reached its then-all-time high of $19,500. “I’m not interested that much in the subject at all,” Mr. Dimon said then. More recently, in late 2020, JPMorgan’s position shifted as the bank said Bitcoin is in a competition with gold. Strategists from the firm later said that bitcoin could appreciate to $146,000.