Jamie Dimon, the limousine liberal who has been the long-running President of JP Morgan, once vilified Bitcoin and other digital coins but is now apparently ready to cash in on this developing industry as JP Morgan releases its bankster-backed cryptocurrency.
“We are supportive of crypto-currencies as long as they are properly controlled and regulated,” write Umar Farooq, who works as JP Morgan’s head of Digital Treasury Services and Blockchain.
But Dimon had previously called Bitcoin a scam as recently as last year. In a particularly unhinged anti-crypto rant from 2017, Dimon called Bitcoin “a fraud” that is “worse than tulip bulbs.”
On what he would do if he caught someone on his staff trading in Bitcoin, Dimon said: “I’d fire them in a second. For two reasons: It’s against our rules, and they’re stupid. And both are dangerous.”
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“If you were in Venezuela or Ecuador or North Korea or a bunch of parts like that, or if you were a drug dealer, a murderer, stuff like that, you are better off doing it in bitcoin than U.S. dollars,” Dimon added. “So there may be a market for that, but it’d be a limited market.”
Dimon is not apparently above using this “fraud” to fill the coffers of his monolithic corporate bank though.
As of right now, Dimon’s JPM Coin is only meant to be used internally by JP Morgan and its customers to facilitate the expedited transfer of payments between different accounts. A JPM Coin represents one dollar and can be used as a substitute for money when customers are using Quorum, the corporate bank’s blockchain network.
Observers note that crypto is popular due to its decentralized nature, which JPM Coin does not provide thus defeating the purpose of this cryptocurrency entirely.
“It doesn’t even need a blockchain at all because JP Morgan runs it. They could do it on a website and database they run,” said David Gerard, author of Attack of the 50 Foot Blockchain: Bitcoin, Blockchain, Ethereum & Smart Contracts, to BBC reporters.
“It isn’t like Bitcoin that aren’t under anybody’s control – it’s a centrally controlled thing that sounds vaguely like crypto-currency,” he added.
It is unclear whether JP Morgan even understands the purpose of cryptocurrency at all, other than to fear it because it may empower individuals at the expense of corporate megabanks. JP Morgan will ultimately rely on government force to retain their market share.
“There are various ways to make the regulatory regimes across the world stronger over time,” Farooq said.
Relying on regulatory power to stay afloat will only take JP Morgan so far. If another crash were to occur like what happened in 2007-08, crypto could be the big winner of that realignment as the market corrects itself.