JPMorgan exec: Softer stance on Bitcoin but we’ve always been pro-blockchain

Banking executive says JPMorgan has been active in blockchain for a while.

Contrary to public perception, JPMorgan Chase has always been pro-blockchain, says the multinational investment bank’s head of wholesale payments, Takis Georgakopoulos.

In a live discussion with Nasdaq reporter Jill Malandrino at this year’s Blockshow in Singapore, Georgakopoulos said JPMorgan has always viewed the blockchain and crypto industry through three lenses: Bitcoin (BTC) and other non-fiat-based cryptocurrencies; fiat-based digital assets created by institutions and central banks; and blockchain technology.

When questioned about whether JPMorgan is “softening its stance” on digital assets, Georgakopoulos clarified the bank had only softened its stance on Bitcoin, as it had only ever had reservations about non-fiat based cryptocurrencies. Even then, he acknowledged that several cryptocurrency onramps have implemented necessary Know Your Customer compliance, which has made it easier for the bank to work with exchanges. 

“We have no problem” doing business with them, Georgakopoulos said.

Regarding blockchain technology, the investment bank has been “investing quite a lot” into new applications Georgakopoulos said, especially in the fields of information exchange and secure document management.

In October, JPMorgan officially launched a new blockchain business unit called Onyx, which is said to house over 100 dedicated employees. The bank also confirmed that its digital currency, dubbed JPM Con, is being used for commercial business.

JPM Coin was first conceived in 2019 as a dollar-backed stablecoin for internal and international transfers. As Cointelegraph previously reported, the stablecoin is already being used by a major transnational technology company to settle cross-border payments.

JPMorgan’s foray into blockchain and cryptocurrency comes at a time when major financial institutions and central banks are considering their next crypto plays. Many believe that central-bank digital currencies, or CBDCs, are an inevitable outcome of rapid digitization.

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