Jamie Dimon, CEO of investment banking giant JPMorgan, has praised blockchain technology and decentralized finance (DeFi) in a letter to shareholders published yesterday.
"Decentralized finance and blockchain are real, new technologies that can be deployed in both public and private fashion, permissioned or not," Dimon said, before adding that JPMorgan is "at the forefront" of these innovations.
"We use a blockchain network called Liink to enable banks to share complex information, and we also use a blockchain to move tokenized U.S. dollar deposits with JPM Coin," he said.
JPM Coin was created in February 2019 as a dollar-backed stablecoin designed to be used by big business. Liink, on the other hand, was launched in 2017, and to date, over 400 financial institutions have signed up to become a participant on the blockchain.
The JPMorgan CEO added that the company believes that there are "many uses where a blockchain can replace or improve contracts, data ownership and other enhancements."
He did caveat his praise by adding that for some purposes, blockchain technology is "currently too expensive or too slow to be deployed."
These comments represent a substantial shift in Dimon's overall cryptocurrency views, which have often focused on his negative perception of Bitcoin—the industry's flagship cryptocurrency.
Dimon, Bitcoin, and blockchain
In November 2020, Dimon said at a remote New York Times summit that he was not interested in Bitcoin.
"It's not my cup of tea," the JPMorgan CEO said at the time. He did, however, describe blockchain technology as a "critical" development in the way money is handled.
Despite his impressions of blockchain technology, his views on Bitcoin remained critical.
In May 2021, Dimon said he remained skeptical about Bitcoin and reiterated that he had no real interest in the cryptocurrency. He did however admit that JPMorgan's clients were interested in the leading crypto.
In October 2021, he doubled down on Bitcoin, calling it worthless.
"I personally think Bitcoin is worthless," he said during the annual meeting of the Institute of International Finance.