Business 14 February 2018Erik Gibbs
JPMorgan might be ready to embrace cryptocurrencies
Someone let the cat out of the bag.
The report refers to cryptocurrencies as an “innovative maelstrom,” and indicates that they are unlikely to disappear—not soon, not in the future. The report was an internal Cryptocurrency Executive Summary, and it was found in a tweet by Joseph Young, who took it from Twitter user zerohedge.
It would appear now that executives are bullish regarding the future of cryptocurrency, and might even be ready to start accepting it into its camp. The tone of the report was a clear switch from the company’s position over the past six months. Dimon went from calling cryptocurrencies a fraud to saying he wasn’t going to talk about them anymore. He then talked about them some more, stating that he regretted making the fraud comments, and went as far as to adamantly refute being a Bitcoin skeptic when the subject of cryptocurrencies was raised at the 2018 World Economic Forum in January.
An excerpt from the report provides clues regarding J.P. Morgan’s position: “The underlying technology for [cryptocurrencies] could have the greatest application in areas where current payment systems are slow, such as across borders, as payment, reward tokens or funding systems for other Blockchain innovations and the Internet of Things, as well as parts of the underground economy.” That certainly conjures images of JPMorgan execs wining and dining the cryptocurrency market.
The report also touched on the virtues of cryptocurrencies outside the financial sector, noting that “There is the potential for increased usage of Blockchain in cross-border payments, settlement/clearing/collateral management as well as the broader world of TMT, Transportation and Healthcare but only where nay cost efficiencies offset regulatory, technical and security hurdles.”
Despite the recent revelation, the official stance of the company hasn’t changed. JPMorgan was one of several U.S. banks, along with Bank of America, to institute policies last week barring its clients from using their credit cards to purchase cryptocurrencies. Based on the report, however, that position could be retracted sometime in the near future.
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.
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