Jamie Dimon lashes out against crypto: ‘If I was the government, I’d close it down’

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JPMorgan Chase CEO and Chairman Jamie Dimon gestures as he speaks during the U.S. Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee oversight hearing on Wall Street firms, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., December 6, 2023.
Evelyn Hockstein | Reuters

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon lashed out at bitcoin and its peers, suggesting in remarks Wednesday on Capitol Hill that cryptocurrencies should be banned.

“I’ve always been deeply opposed to crypto, bitcoin, etc.,” the head of the largest U.S. bank by assets said under questioning from Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., during a Senate Banking Committee hearing. “The only true use case for it is criminals, drug traffickers … money laundering, tax avoidance.”

“If I was the government, I’d close it down,” he added.

The remarks are the latest broadside from Dimon against cryptocurrencies, though his bank is heavily involved in blockchain, the enabling technology for the $1.6 trillion industry.

In previous statements, Dimon has called bitcoin “a hyped-up fraud,” a comment he later walked back. He had also likened it to a “pet rock.”

Under further questioning from Warren, Dimon and several other CEOs of large banks brought before the committee as part of a routine hearing on the industry, agreed that crypto companies should face the same anti-money-laundering regulations as the major financial institutions.

The topic marked a rare note of unity between the banking leaders and Warren, usually a harsh critic of the industry.

“When it comes to banking policy, I am not usually holding hands with the CEOs of multibillion-dollar banks, but this is a matter of national security. Terrorists, drug traffickers and rogue nations should be barred from using crypto for their dangerous activities. It is time for Congress to act,” Warren said.

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