Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan, faces fierce criticism from the crypto community on X (formerly Twitter). The origin of this controversy dates back to BlackRock’s recent decision to name JPMorgan as an Authorized Participant (AP) in its proposed spot Bitcoin ETF, as revealed by the S-1 filing updated on December 29.
JPMorgan’s role as AP, alongside Jane Street, drew attention for its irony, highlighted by Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas: “BlackRock just released its updated S-1 and names the APs: Jane Street and JPMorgan (which is a bit ironic).” This irony is due to Dimon’s track record, who, despite his privileged position in the Bitcoin ETF, has not demonstrated public support for the cryptocurrency.
BlackRock just dropped its updated S-1 and it DOES name the APs: Jane Street and JPMorgan (which is kinda ironic). Looks we have our first horse that at the starting gate. pic.twitter.com/H3UmaesygJ
— Eric Balchunas (@EricBalchunas) December 29, 2023
The controversy intensified following Dimon’s comments at a US Senate Banking Committee hearing on December 6. He expressed a negative view on cryptocurrencies, stating that if he could, he would try to shut down the sector. According to him, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies mainly serve to facilitate criminal activities.
This stance generated accusations of hypocrisy from the crypto community. Crypto enthusiast Silver Zimmermann criticized JPMorgan on X, questioning how the institution could get involved with Bitcoin after such negative statements. Another user, Sunny Po, echoed this sentiment, questioning the consistency between the bank’s actions and Dimon’s statements to Congress and Senator Elizabeth Warren.
Pro-XRP advocate John Deaton also chimed in, expressing skepticism about Elizabeth Warren’s stance on Bitcoin and pointing out JPMorgan’s willingness to get involved with the cryptocurrency despite negative associations.
How about that @ewarrenJamie Dimon’s @jpmorgan is involved with #Bitcoin despite its only use case serving terrorists, drug cartels and other criminals. Or maybe you and Jamie Dimon are simply gas lighting the American public. https://t.co/1dBilLTh7k
— John E Deaton (@JohnEDeaton1) December 29, 2023
In contrast to Dimon’s public stance, JPMorgan has been taking a more practical approach to cryptocurrencies. Recently, the bank launched its own crypto token – JPM Coin – on a private version of the Ethereum blockchain, aimed at institutional clients. Additionally, in October, it introduced a blockchain-based tokenization platform, counting BlackRock among its clients. In April 2021, JPMorgan also invested in a $65 million funding round for Ethereum infrastructure company Consensys.
This divergence between Dimon’s public statements and JPMorgan’s practical actions in the crypto space raises questions about the bank’s actual stance on this new asset class.
The views and opinions expressed by the author, or anyone mentioned in this article, are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial, investment or other advice. Investing in or trading cryptocurrencies carries a risk of financial loss.