Dec 6, 2023 - Business

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon says he would "close" cryptocurrency down

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon ramped up his years-long opposition to bitcoin and other digital currencies on Wednesday, suggesting that lawmakers should move to ban cryptocurrency altogether.

What they're saying: "If I was the government, I'd close it down," Dimon said at a Senate hearing alongside seven other big bank CEOs.

Why it matters: Dimon, of course, is not the government and can't alone move to ban cryptocurrency. However, it showed a rare moment of harmony between the industry and longtime bank antagonist Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) who said cryptocurrency was fueling illicit transactions.

  • "When it comes banking policy, I am not usually holding hands with the CEOs of multi-billion dollar banks, but this is a matter of national security," Warren said.

Of note: All eight big bank CEOs, including Dimon, agreed with Warren that cryptocurrency firms should follow the same anti-money laundering laws that big banks are subject to.

  • Crypto exchange Binance and its CEO Changpeng "CZ" Zhao pleaded guilty last month to money laundering violations.
  • The crypto exchange can continue to operate — but only because it is required to create an anti-money laundering system.

Catch up quick: Dimon has not been shy about his views on the cryptocurrency industry, which date back to at least 2014.

  • "I've always been deeply opposed to crypto, bitcoin, etc.," Dimon said on Wednesday.

Yes, but: Despite his harsh public comments about the industry, JPMorgan is among the large financial firms investing in crypto-adjacent technologies.

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