Despite Calling Fiat Payment Apps a “Disruption,” JPMorgan Chase Sees Potential of Blockchain for Their Business
Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan has continued to stand strong on his support of blockchain technology but has been increasingly silent about the cryptocurrency it was originally made for. He has gone as far as to call fiat payment apps “the biggest potential disruption to our business,” which was published in an interview with Harvard Business Review.
The interview involved questions about the competition between JPMorgan, which is one of the Big Four banks in America, and the rest of the industry. When discussing the biggest theft, Dimon said “new forms of payment,” referring to programs like PayPal, Venmo, and Alipay. He said, “these companies are doing a good job of embedding basic banking services in their chats, their social, their shopping experience.”
Most experts in the field would expect Dimon to say that cryptocurrency is a threat, but Dimon instead said, “I probably shouldn’t say any more about cryptocurrency.” However, that did not stop him from saying that this digital asset is different from gold and fiat currency, saying that they are “supported by law, police, courts […] [are] not replicable, and there are strictures on them.” His stance on blockchain in the discussion was more certain, calling it “real,” which implying that cryptocurrency is not, comparatively. He also said that JPMorgan has made the decision to test it “and will use it for a whole lot of things.”
It is important to note that Dimon’s opinions and JPMorgan’s opinion are not always the same, but they have still evolved with the changes of the industry. Back in September last year, Dimon was quoted in calling Bitcoin a “fraud” during a meeting for investors, and he even told employees for the company that they would lose their job for getting involved in trading the token. By January, he was saying that he was “not a skeptic” of cryptocurrency.
With an internal report filed at JPMorgan, the company directly called the world of cryptocurrency the “face of the innovative maelstrom around the blockchain technology.” The report was filed in February 2017.
In Dimon’s February 27th SEC filing, he noted that cryptocurrency was considered competition in the industry, which is different from the opinions he expressed in the month before. He added the comment that it had the potential to:
“put downward pressure on prices and fees for JPMorgan Chase’s products and services or may cause JPMorgan Chase to lose market share.”
Becoming More Cohesive
Since that filing, JPMorgan and Dimon have come closer together in their opinions. The bank has since filed a patent application on May 3rd, which concerned their use of blockchain technology. In the two weeks that followed, the bank had found someone to be their official Head of Crypto Assets Strategy.