Crypto-proponents were abuzz when the investment bank JP Morgan came out with the JPM Coin, a US dollar-backed cryptocurrency that would be used for cross-border transactions with the bank’s client. However, they lamented its use as an internal-payment tool within JP Morgan. A recent statement by the bank’s CEO Jamie Dimon suggested that JPM Coin could one day be used outside the bank.
During an annual investor day at JP Morgan, Dimon was asked if the dollar-backed cryptocurrency could one day be used for retail payments. In response to the inquiry, he said:
“JP Morgan Coin could be internal, could be commercial, it could one day be consumer.”
The JP Morgan website, however, suggested that the coin will stick to the original blueprint of being an internal payment tool for the clients of JP Morgan rather than a cryptocurrency used for commercial transactions in the retail network.
Based on conflicting information from the bank and the bank’s CEO, it could be inferred that Dimon’s comments were speculative, but the cryptocurrency community was certainly buoyed by the announcement.
This stark turn-around from Dimon is quite remarkable given the numerous times the JP Morgan CEO has bashed Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency industry in the past. He previously called the top cryptocurrency a “scam”, adding that he had “no interest” in the digital asset.
Furthermore, Dimon had even appealed for regulatory action against cryptocurrencies, deeming them an uncontrollable asset. Blockchain technology, however, has earned his praise. He branded the technology that powers cryptocurrency “real,” while continuing his anti-Bitcoin stance.
Announced on February 15, the JPM Coin took the cryptocurrency market by storm, with some speculation suggesting that the February 18 market cap increase of over $10 billion was due to the positive effect of the JP Morgan announcement.