Jamie Dimon, the Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, the largest bank in America, said that he shouldn’t speak much about cryptocurrencies. In an interview with Harvard Business Review, Dimon expressed optimism over blockchain. Previously, he called cryptocurrencies a fraud.

The Biggest Threat to the Banking System

Dimon believes that the biggest competitive threat to the banking system lies in alternative payment systems. He said:

“You have PayPal, Venmo, Alipay, and more. These companies are doing a good job of embedding basic banking services in their chats, their social, their shopping experience.”

The 62-year-old business executive didn’t consider Bitcoin or any other form of digital currency a potential threat to the current banking environment. When asked about his views on digital currencies, he said:

“I probably shouldn’t say any more about cryptocurrency.”

He said that it isn’t the same as fiat currencies and gold, which are supported by the legal system, the police, and the judiciary and aren’t replicable. He also mentioned that both these assets have strictures on them. However, he mentioned that blockchain is real and that JPMorgan is testing it for numerous applications.

What Did Dimon Say Earlier?

His previous view on cryptocurrencies wasn’t very supportive either. In September last year, he spoke in a New York conference, calling Bitcoin “a fraud.” He went on to call it “worse than tulip bulbs” and said that if any JPMorgan trader began Bitcoin trading, he would fire them in a second because they are stupid and crypto trading is against the bank’s rules.

Bitcoin with tulip bulbs. Source: shutterstock.com
Bitcoin with tulip bulbs. Source: shutterstock.com

Later, in a January interview, he said that he regretted his comments on the cryptocurrency and pledged his faith in its underlying blockchain technology. He also spoke at the time about the possibility of having “crypto dollars in yen.” However, he said that ICOs need to be looked at individually.

At the moment, he is finding it better to avoid controversy by commenting on anything radical about digital currency. His views now seem more balanced on crypto coins, but it is still away from positive. Note, however, that the bank does see the technology and even crypto coins in a favorable light. The bank currently has a patent in blockchain as well.

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