In September last year, JPMorgan Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon referred to bitcoin as a “stupid” and “dangerous” thing and that he would fire in a second anyone caught selling or buying the decentralized digital currency. Like many of his prominent counterparts in the global finance industry, his sentiments about crypto carried a lot of weight. The perceived threat that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies pose to the financial world has been a knee jack reaction that can mostly be attributed to the rapid growth and subsequent widespread adoption of crypto.
However, Dimon’s stance appears to have changed. JPMorgan is now looking into the applications of cryptocurrencies despite their purported threat to the financial industry’s business model. The move begun with a high-level reshuffling that involved the shifting of Oliver Harris to a cryptocurrency strategy position within the investment bank – Oliver Harris is a former Fintech and In-Residence initiative head. In his new role, Harris will be looking into the risks and rewards that are associated with digital assets and blockchain technology.
Just recently, Goldman Sachs got into crypto by setting up a bitcoin trading desk and hiring Justin Schmidt, a trader specializing in exchanging cryptocurrencies. To many, this seems to be the motivation behind JPMorgan’s surprising change of heart, especially when putting into consideration its CEO’s harsh remarks towards bitcoin just a few months ago.
“The Bitcoin to me was always what the governments are gonna feel about Bitcoin as it gets really big, and I just have a different opinion than other people. I’m not interested that much in the subject at all. The blockchain is real. You can have crypto yen and dollars and stuff like that. ICO’s you have to look at individually,” Jamie Dimon recanted his previous statements during an interview with Fox in January 2018.
JPMorgan ranks as the world’s 10th largest financial services company by revenue which makes it one of the financial industry’s biggest names alongside the likes of Goldman Sachs. As such, their entry into crypto will certainly have a profound avalanche effect as far as the adoption of crypto among Wall Street companies goes.