JPMorgan Chase chair and CEO Jamie Dimon told several United States lawmakers that if he had the authority in government, he would try to shut down crypto.
In a Dec. 6 hearing of the Senate Banking Committee on oversight of Wall Street Firms, Dimon responded to questioning from Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, who claimed North Korea had funded much of its missile program using “proceeds of crypto crime” in addition to funding Hamas. The JPMorgan Chase CEO said he had “always been deeply opposed to crypto” and associated digital assets with “criminals” and “drug traffickers” in addition to tax avoidance.
“If I was the government, I’d close it down,” said Dimon.
The JPMorgan Chase CEO testified before the Senate committee alongside CEOs of Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citigroup, BNY Mellon, Goldman Sachs, State Street and Morgan Stanley. Dimon has previously referred to cryptocurrencies as “decentralized Ponzi schemes” and Bitcoin (BTC) as a “fraud.”
Warren questioned the other CEOs on whether crypto firms should be subject to the same Anti-Money Laundering (AML) rules U.S. banks are obligated to uphold — to which all responded in the affimative. In a statement to Cointelegraph, a spokesperson for the crypto education-focused organization CEDAR Innovation Foundation said Warren’s claims revealed “a lack of understanding of blockchain technology.”
“It is misleading to claim that crypto facilitates illicit finance any more so than traditional fiat currency,” said CEDAR. “The statements by Senator Warren and the bank CEOs are a direct recognition of the promise of crypto, decentralized finance, and blockchain technology as a direct threat to the traditional financial system.”
The Massachusetts senator has been a vocal opponent of crypto in the U.S. government, often linking crypto transactions to terrorism and pushing for legislation aimed at cutting down on the illicit use of digital assets. In the wake of the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas on Israel, many U.S. lawmakers have supported Warren’s efforts to raise attention to the role of crypto in financing terrorism.