Dimon has been outspoken about digital currencies in the past, previously telling Axios that it has “no intrinsic value” and that regulators are going to “regulate the hell out of it.”
In February 2019, JP Morgan became the first global bank to design a network to facilitate instantaneous payments using blockchain technology when it rolled out JPM Coin.
According to the investment bank, JPM Coin “enables participating J.P. Morgan clients to transfer U.S. Dollars held on deposit with J.P. Morgan,” and “facilitates real-time value movement, helping to solve common hurdles of traditional cross-border payments.”
In October 2020, the financial service created a new unit for blockchain projects after announcing the digital currency was being used by a client commercially. Just months ago in August, it started giving its wealth management clients access to six crypto funds, CNBC reported.
“I don’t want to be a spokesperson—I don’t care. It makes no difference to me,” Dimon said Monday. “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.”
The CEO also said he believes governments will soon start regulating digital currency for a multitude of reasons, including tax purposes.
“No matter what anyone thinks about it, [the] government is going to regulate it. They are going to regulate it for (anti-money laundering) purposes, for (Bank Secrecy Act) purposes, for tax,” Dimon said.
Last week, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gary Gensler told Congress that his agency would not follow China’s lead in implementing a ban on cryptocurrencies but expressed concern over a lack of regulations.
China’s central bank last month declared all cryptocurrency-related transactions illegal while vowing to suppress the virtual currency market.
Cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Tether, are among those specifically cited as not being “fiat money” and cannot be circulated, The People’s Bank of China said in a statement, translated by CNBC.
“I am technology-neutral. I think that this technology [cryptocurrency] has been and can continue to be a catalyst for change, but technologies don’t last long if they stay outside of the regulatory framework,” Gensler told Congress.
“I believe that the SEC, working with the CFTC [Commodity Futures Trading Commission] and others, can stand up more robust oversight and investor protection around the field of crypto finance.”
However, Gensler noted that “right now, large parts of the field of crypto are sitting astride of—not operating within—regulatory frameworks that protect investors and consumers, guard against illicit activity, and ensure for financial stability.”
He also acknowledged that currently there was not enough investor protection with regard to crypto finance, issuance, trading, or lending.
“Frankly, at this time, it’s more like the Wild West or the old world of ‘buyer beware’ that existed before the securities laws were enacted. This asset class is rife with fraud, scams, and abuse in certain applications. We can do better,” Gensler said.
While there are concerns over regulations of cryptocurrency, nations such as Ukraine are embracing the virtual currency market. Earlier this month, Ukraine became the latest country to legalize cryptocurrency and other digital assets.
Meanwhile, El Salvador has also adopted Bitcoin as legal tender alongside the U.S. dollar, with the hopes that it will boost financial inclusion in El Salvador, where around 70 percent of citizens lack access to traditional financial services.
Bitcoin trading showed no immediate reaction to Dimon’s comments. The cryptocurrency was up 1.59 percent as of Tuesday.
Reuters contributed to this report.