Crypto hater Jamie Dimon praises blockchain technology in his latest shareholder letter

April 5, 2022, 4:00 PM UTC

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon may not be a fan of Bitcoin, but he does see value in the technology that underpins it.

In his annual shareholder letter, Dimon wrote that “decentralized finance [DeFi] and blockchain are real, new technologies that can be deployed in both public and private fashion, permissioned or not.”

The blockchain is a public digital ledger that documents cryptocurrency transactions and stores other information. It powers cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, along with decentralized applications including DeFi platforms and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

According to Dimon, “JPMorgan Chase is at the forefront of this innovation”; he cited the bank’s blockchain network Liink, which allows institutions to exchange payment-related information, and its JPM Coin, which JPMorgan clients can use to transfer their U.S. dollar deposits. He mentioned that JPMorgan will continue to grow and invest in its payments business.

“We believe there are many uses where a blockchain can replace or improve contracts, data ownership and other enhancements,” Dimon said. 

However, he did note that the technology overall is currently “too expensive or too slow to be deployed.” 

His bullish outlook on blockchain contrasts with his outspoken criticism of Bitcoin.

In 2017, Dimon called Bitcoin a “fraud.” In October 2021, he said Bitcoin is “worthless.”

“Our clients are adults. They disagree. That’s what makes markets,” Dimon said in October. “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.”

Even so, he has consistently seen value in blockchain technology. At the Wall Street Journal CEO Summit in May, Dimon again said, “Blockchain is real. We use it. But people have to remember that a currency is supported by the taxing authority of a country, the rule of law, a central bank.”

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