Notorious crypto doubter and JPMorgan CEO has finally admitted that elements of the crypto technology are serving real use cases.
Writing in JPMorgan’s latest letter to shareholders, Dimon announces that the banking giant is very much focused on driving innovation in the blockchain space, specifically with JPM Coin, which is a permissioned, shared ledger system that serves as a payment rail and deposit account ledger for JPMorgan clients.
“We continue to bring to the market and commercialize innovative products, such as embedded banking; AI-driven fraud controls and forecasting; and account validation and programmable payments on JPM Coin,” Dimon said, adding that “Decentralized finance and blockchain are real, new technologies that can be deployed in both public and private fashion, permissioned or not.”
“JPMorgan Chase is at the forefront of this innovation,” he claimed.
The CEO also highlighted that JPMorgan is continuing to focus on Liink, the bank’s own blockchain network that its Onyx arm built.
“We believe there are many uses where a blockchain can replace or improve contracts, data ownership, and other enhancements; for some purposes, however, it is currently too expensive or too slow to be deployed.”
Dimon has, in the past, repeatedly thrown shade on Bitcoin and the crypto space in general. As recent as October, he referred to Bitcoin as “worthless,” despite the bank’s clients having a taste for it.
“I don’t want to be a spokesperson — I don’t care. It makes no difference to me,” he said. “Our clients are adults. They disagree. That’s what makes markets. So, if they want to have access to buy yourself bitcoin, we can’t custody it but we can give them legitimate, as clean as possible, access.”
For years, there has always been a disconnect between what Dimon has said, and what JPMorgan has been doing. Plans for JPM Coin were unveiled in late 2019, and in 2020, the bank founded Onyx, its arm specifically focused on blockchain development.
Earlier this year, JPMorgan released a full whitepaper on the metaverse, and revealed that it had built its own “lounge” in the virtual world of Decentraland named after Onyx.
“The metaverse will likely infiltrate every sector in some way in the coming years, with the market opportunity estimated at over $1 trillion in yearly revenues,” they said.
The bank said that a metaverse can also turbocharge a shift in “gaming, sports betting and gambling from cash to crypto.”
Over last summer, JPMorgan also quietly started giving its wealthiest clients access to six different crypto funds, and by winter, the bank’s analysts had given a long-term price target of $150,000 for Bitcoin.
It would appear as if Jamie Dimon was the only person in the entire JPMorgan empire who was ever actually bearish on Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, if any of his previous takes were to be believed.