Jamie Dimon, the CEO of J.P. Morgan Chase, has said he doesn’t expect Facebook’s planned Libra cryptocurrency to have a short-term impact on the bank.
In an analysts call Tuesday, first reported by CNBC, Dimon appeared to suggest that it was too early to speculate on how the effort, advertised as a global currency for the unbanked, would impact his company or its outlook. JP Morgan is the leading bank in terms of U.S. retail deposits, according to its most recent annual report.
“We’re going to be talking about Libra three years from now. I wouldn’t spend too much time on it,” Dimon said, when asked about Facebook’s entrance into the financial sector through cryptocurrency.
The chief executive added:
“To put it in perspective, we’ve been talking about blockchain for seven years and very little has happened.”
In previous interviews, Dimon has noted that cryptocurrency companies might compete with legacy banks. Still, he believes regulations will be a factor in how such technologies may be rolled out to the public, potentially delaying their timelines.
“Governments are going to insist that people who hold money or move money all live according to rules where they have the right controls in place; no-one wants to aid and abet terrorism or criminal activities,” Dimon said.
Facebook planned to debut the stable-backed cryptocurrency in 2020, but has since come out to say it will not offer the digital currency until all regulatory concerns have been addressed.
“We don’t mind competition,” Dimon said. “The request is always going to be the same: We want a level playing field.
JPMorgan proposed its own cryptocurrency, JPM Coin, in February to be used internally to speed up transactions. “The technology is very good, but it takes time in terms of licensing and approval. It must be explained,” lead developer Umar Farooq said prior to a trial period commencement.
For his part, David Marcus, lead developer of Facebook’s blockchain, has said, Libra is “not designed as a substitute for bank accounts,” in a Senate Banking Committee hearing on the cryptocurrency yesterday. A second day of testimonies is now underway.
Jamie Dimon photo courtesy of NYTimes Dealbook
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