Dimon, who agreed that crypto firms should face the same AML scrutiny as traditional firms, said he would shut down crypto if he could.
The CEO of JPMorgan Jamie Dimon told the United States Congress that he would shut down the crypto sector if he had the power to do so. According to him, cryptocurrency is mainly used by criminals for illicit purposes.
Dimon was responding to Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, who said “proceeds of crypto crime” funded North Korea’s missile program. The Senator also said crypto has also helped to fund Hamas. In response, Jamie Dimon told Congress that he has “always been deeply opposed to crypto, bitcoin, etc.” He added that its “only true use case for it is criminals, drug traffickers … money laundering, tax avoidance.” He then stated:
“If I was the government, I’d close it down.”
Dimon Speaks Alongside Wall Street CEOs on Crypto Regulations
Jamie Dimon’s testimony was part of a routine hearing before the Senate Banking Committee. The JPMorgan CEO joined other chiefs speaking to Congress, including the CEOs of major Wall Street companies. Present at the hearing were the heads of Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, BNY Mellon, and Morgan Stanley.
As part of the questioning, Warren wanted to know the CEOs’ opinion on whether or not crypto service companies should follow the same Anti-Money Laundering laws banks currently adhere to. The CEOs all seemed to agree that the same rules should apply.
Speaking on cryptocurrencies and their potential use for illicit activity, Warren asked lawmakers to take control of the situation to prevent misuse. She said:
“When it comes to banking policy, I am not usually holding hands with the CEOs of multi-billion dollar banks, but this is a matter of national security. Terrorists, drug traffickers and rogue nations should be barred from using crypto for their dangerous activities. It is time for Congress to act.”
A spokesperson for the crypto-focused CEDAR Innovation Foundation told Cointelegraph that Senator Warren’s comments reflect “a lack of understanding of blockchain technology”. According to the spokesperson, claiming that crypto facilitates more illicit transactions than traditional fiat is “misleading”.
“The statements by Senator Warren and the bank CEOs are a direct recognition of the promise of crypto, decentralized finance, and blockchain technology as a direct threat to the traditional financial system,” CEDAR said.
Previous Crypto Criticism
Jamie Dimon has previously spoken up against the crypto sector multiple times. He once advised people to “stay away from it”, stating that crypto is “nothing like a fiat currency” and “nothing like gold”. He also once called Bitcoin a “fraud”, describing it as a speculative asset that will never replace fraud or become an efficient payment system. Dimon has also described cryptocurrency as a “decentralized Ponzi scheme”.
Despite Dimon’s aversion to crypto, JPMorgan offers crypto services to clients. The company launched a Bitcoin fund that gives private banking clients an opportunity to invest in the asset. “I don’t care about Bitcoin. I have no interest in it. On the other hand, clients are interested, and I don’t tell clients what to do,” said he.