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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Dimon says he would shut down crypto if he had government role

By Katherine Doherty Bloomberg

Jamie Dimon, who visited Spokane this summer, told U.S. lawmakers Wednesday that he would shutter the cryptocurrency industry if he had their power.

“If I was the government, I’d close it down,” the chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co. said at the Senate Banking Committee’s annual Wall Street oversight hearing Wednesday.

The remarks add to Dimon’s long history of bashing digital currencies, which he has previously called “Ponzi schemes” and a “fraud.”

His latest comments follow a series of hacks and scandals in the crypto industry, which has been under increased scrutiny from U.S. regulators and lawmakers since the unwinding of FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried’s cryptocurrency platform.

Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, used the hearing to team up with Republicans and banking leaders to take aim at the crypto industry.

“Today’s terrorists have a new way to get around the Bank Secrecy Act: cryptocurrency,” Warren said.

Dimon and other industry chiefs, including Bank of America Corp.’s Brian Moynihan, said they have safeguards in place to prevent terrorists and other illegal actors from using their institutions. Warren contrasted that with the crypto market, and said anti-money-laundering rules that banks follow should be extended to digital assets.

All of the CEOs said they agreed.

“I’m not usually holding hands with the CEOs of multibillion-dollar banks, but this is a matter of national security,” said Warren, who has previously raised concerns about the need for regulation and about links that major lenders have with the crypto industry.

Dimon’s repeated criticism of the crypto industry doesn’t extend to blockchain technology, which the bank has enlisted for several projects.

JPMorgan was an early mover with its JPM Coin, a proprietary stablecoin that allows clients to make blockchain-based payments.

The bank has projected the token could be handling as much as $10 billion in daily transactions within the next two years, from around $1 billion now.