JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon on Wednesday suggested bitcoin currency should be banned.
Dimon was speaking during a Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on Capitol Hill.
"I've always been deeply opposed to crypto, bitcoin, etc.," Dimon said in response to a question from Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. "The only true use case for it is criminals, drug traffickers … money laundering, tax avoidance because it is somewhat anonymous, not fully, and because you can move money instantaneously.
"If I was the government, I would close it down."
Dimon’s comments were in line with what he has previously said about cryptocurrencies.
During a 2021 virtual Institute of International Finance conference, he predicted that cryptocurrencies will be regulated by governments and said he thinks bitcoin is "worthless."
"No matter what anyone thinks about it, 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 at the time.
The CEO has also called bitcoin "a hyped-up fraud" — a comment he later walked back—and likened the currency to a "pet rock," CNBC reported.
Despite Dimon’s personal thoughts, JPMorgan Chase, the largest U.S. bank by assets, is heavily involved in blockchain, the enabling technology for the $1.6 trillion industry.
Dimon and several other CEOs of large banks, under further questioning from Warren, agreed that crypto companies should face the same anti-money-laundering regulations as the major financial institutions.
"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," Warren said. "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 that "an estimated $20 billion in illicit crypto transactions funded every kind of dangerous criminal" last year. She added that North Korea and Hamas were funded through cryptocurrency.
On Monday, Bitcoin rose, briefly surpassing $42,000 for the first time since April 2022, in a new surge of momentum fueled by the possibility of U.S. interest rate cuts and traders betting that the U.S. will soon approve exchange-traded bitcoin funds.
Reuters contributed to this story.
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Charlie McCarthy, a writer/editor at Newsmax, has nearly 40 years of experience covering news, sports, and politics.
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