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Jamie Dimon, billionaire, and CEO of the largest bank in the United States, JPMorgan Chase, again raised disdain and criticism towards the crypto industry. At a recent Senate hearing, Dimon had only negative comments to issue, going so far as to tell the US government to crush crypto.
Jamie Dimon is at it again. As one of the most vocal opponents of the industry, the billionaire CEO of JPMorgan Chase told the United States government to shut the industry down. Dimon and the heads of six other large banks appeared at the December 6 hearing of the Senate Banking Committee on oversight of Wall Street firms. The CEOs of Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citigroup, BNY Mellon, Goldman Sachs, State Street and Morgan Stanley were all present at the hearing.
Shut It Down: Dimon
Responding to questions posed by Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren asking his opinion of why crypto could be an attractive tool for bad actors, the JPMorgan Chase CEO said he maintains his deep opposition to crypto and associated digital assets with “criminals,” “drug traffickers,” and tax evaders. In her line of questioning, Warren claimed North Korea funded much of its missile program using the “proceeds of crypto crime” and funds terror group Hamas.
Adding to his disapproval of the industry, Dimon made a poignant statement:
“If I was the government, I’d close it down.”
Dimon further noted crypto could bypass government controls.
Sen. Warren, another thorn in crypto’s side, commented during the hearing:
“When it comes to banking policy, I am not usually holding hands for the CEOs of multibillion dollar banks, but this is a matter of national security.”
Senator Warren asked the other prominent CEOs present whether crypto firms should be subject to the same anti-money laundering rules banks must uphold – all said yes.
Dimon’s comments are unsurprising, given he previously referred to cryptocurrencies as “decentralised Ponzi schemes.” Dimon has targeted cryptocurrencies and once urged regulators to focus their efforts on investigating cryptocurrencies. He said regulators should “stop beating up on banks and focus more on crypto.” Curiously, though, while Dimon continues his anti-crypto sentiment, the CEO recently revealed he would sell 1 million shares in JPMorgan beginning in 2024.
Dimon’s decision is likely spurred by the deep crisis the US banking system finds itself in and the lack of confidence in banks. According to reports, Dimon’s decision to sell his shares is for “tax planning” and “diversification” reasons, but does the CEO share the overall negative sentiment towards banks, and might he be looking at alternatives, say “digital alternatives”, to “diversify” his portfolio? Who knows.
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