Earlier this month, JPMorgan Chase released a research report titled “The Dynamics and Demographics of U.S. Household Crypto-Asset Use.”
This report “uses de-identified data covering a sample of nearly 5 million active checking account customers, over 600 thousand of which have conducted transfers to crypto accounts.”
These were the four main findings:
“Most crypto users made their first transactions during spikes in crypto-asset prices… Usage of crypto is broader and deeper for men, Asian individuals, and younger individuals with higher incomes…
“Crypto holdings for most individuals are relatively small—as median flows equal less than one week’s worth of take-home pay—but almost 15 percent of users have net transfers of over one month’s worth of pay to crypto accounts… Most individuals who transferred money to crypto accounts did so when crypto-asset prices were significantly higher than recent levels, and those with lower incomes likely made purchases at elevated prices relative to higher earners.“
On 6 December 2022, Jamie Dimon, the Chairman of the Board and CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co., shared his thoughts on crypto during an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box”.
Dimon, who is a well-known harsh critic of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, was asked by co-anchor Andrew Ross Sorkin about the collapse of FTX and if he agreed with U.S. Treasury Secretary Dr. Janet Yellen’s assessment that the FTX collapse is “a Lehman moment within crypto”.
The JPMorgan Chase CEO replied:
“I think crypto is a complete side show… And you guys spend too much time on it, and I’ve made my views perfectly clear: crypto tokens are like pet rocks.
“And people hype this stuff up. That doesn’t mean blockchain is not real. That doesn’t mean smart contracts won’t be real or Web 3.0, but cryptocurrencies that don’t do anything, I don’t understand why people spend any time.“
On 21 September 2022, Dimon shared his thoughts on blockchain technology in general and cryptocurrencies in particular while testifying before U.S. Congress.
His comments were made during a hearing (titled “Holding Megabanks Accountable: Oversight of America’s Largest Consumer Facing Banks”) of the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services.
At one point during this hearing, Dimon, who was one of the seven “megabank” CEOs on the witness list, was asked a question by Josh Gottheimer, the U.S. representative for New Jersey’s Fifth Congressional District since 2017.
Congressman Gottheimer, who serves on the House Financial Services Committee, where he is the Vice Chair of the National Security, International Development, and Monetary Policy Subcommittee, said to the JPMorgan Chase CEO:
“I’d like to ask about another topic that I’ve been very focused on, which is the rapid development of digital assets and related financial technology. I believe the United States should lead the development of emerging technologies, like distributed ledgers and blockchain and the federal government should provide the certainly needed for the country to serve as a hub for financial innovation. And I’ve developed legislation to help define qualified stablecoins, which know the Chairwoman and the ranking member are also working on and to select the appropriate regulator.
“I’ve read that you’re a little skeptical of some of these new technologies, but what are the biggest things keeping you from being more active in the space, and do you worry that we would miss the boat and give other nations like China an opportunity to advance their digital currency and other payments systems that could undermine the US dollar and I’d love to get some of your thoughts on that.“
“So you have to separate blockchain, which is real DeFi, which is real ledgers, you know tokens to do something and deliver information, money, ideas, simplify smart contracts. That’s one thing. I’m not a skeptic… I’m a major sceptic on crypto tokens which you call currency like Bitcoin. They are decentralized Ponzi schemes and the notion [that] that’s good for anybody is unbelievable.“