But JPMorgan Chase will offer clients access to crypto
While some banks are scrambling to make sure they don’t miss out on the crypto party, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon is not quite as enthusiastic, to put it mildly.
“I personally think that Bitcoin is worthless,” he said Monday at the Institute of International Finance as the cryptocurrency’s value hovered around $57,000.
That doesn’t mean his bank isn’t getting in on the action, however. It began offering crypto access to clients since July.
“Our clients are adults. They disagree. That’s what makes markets,” Dimon said. “So, if they want to have access to buy yourself Bitcoin, we can’t custody it, but we could give them legitimate, as clean as possible, access.”
Dimon has long been sour on the world’s leading cryptocurrency, declaring that is has “no intrinsic value.” The CEO’s fears that a large player might make Bitcoin illegal and that governmental regulation will come for it appear to be coming true, with China getting serious in its latest crackdown on crypto and the U.S. Congress making overtures about crypto regulation in recent months.
Dimon also expressed skepticism about Bitcoin’s famous market cap of 21 million coins, a stipulation written into the source code and a key to its value, since investors buy in on the assumption there is a set, finite amount of coins available.
“I’ll just challenge the group to one other thing: how do you know it ends at 21 million? You all read the algorithms? You guys all believe that?” he said.
Despite the doubts, JPMorgan Chase is at least investing in the infrastructure and methods that are cornerstones of cryptocurrency trading, experimenting with blockchain and announcing its own digital coin for payments.
As Dimon told Congress in May, he’ll continue to offer what customers want.
“My own personal advice to people is: stay away from it. That does not mean the clients don’t want it. This goes back to how you have to run a business. I don’t smoke marijuana but if you make it nationally legal, I’m not going to stop our people from banking it.”