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JPMorgan launches crypto strategy months after Dimon ‘fraud’ warning

May 17
10:24 2018

JPMorgan chief executive Jamie Dimon might have softened his stance on bitcoin since calling it a “fraud” last year, but the banking giant has given its clearest signal yet that it is taking cryptocurrencies seriously.

The US bank has just moved Oliver Harris, the head of an in-house scheme to develop new financial technologies, into a role looking at the use of cryptocurrencies across its corporate and investment bank, according to people familiar with the matter.

London-based Harris, who has been leading JPMorgan’s Fintech and In-Residence programme since 2015, moves at a time when large US investment banks are exploring the risks and rewards of digital monies and the distributed ledger — or blockchain — technologies that underpin them.

Daniel Pinto, co-president of JPMorgan, separately told CNBC on Wednesday that the Wall Street giant was now “looking into that space”. “Cryptocurrencies are real, but not in the current form,” he said.

JPMorgan’s big rival Goldman Sachs, meanwhile, recently recruited trader Justin Schmidt to work in a new division for trading cryptocurrency derivatives and, potentially, the assets themselves.

JPMorgan’s corporate and investment bank offers a broader range of services than Goldman and people familiar with the matter said Harris will also investigate the possibility of crypto custody services and how blockchain might be applied to its payments business.

The 29-year-old’s move was announced internally on Wednesday. He will report into Umar Farooq, head of blockchain initiatives for JPMorgan’s CIB. The bank has yet to appoint a new head of Fintech and In-Residence.

Continue Reading at Financial News London

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