Jamie Dimon on the cryptocurrency industry: “I’d close it down”

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon told lawmakers on Wednesday that he would take the cryptocurrency industry offline if he had the power.

"I have always been deeply opposed to cryptocurrencies, bitcoins, etc.," he said in response to a question from Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., about the use of cryptocurrencies by terrorists, drug traffickers and rogue nations to finance their activities. "If I were the government, I would close it."

Dimon, considered by many to be America's most prominent banker, said bad actors use digital currencies to launder money and evade taxes, noting that cryptocurrencies remain largely unregulated and difficult to trace. He has long criticized the emerging crypto sector, once calling it a “fraud” and comparing it to historical financial manias.

Warren said the country's banking laws need to be updated, but that cryptocurrency industry lobbyists are working to block legislation that tightens rules on digital currencies, including compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act.

Dimon's comments follow a tumultuous year for the crypto industry, including November. conviction of Sam Bankman-Friedthe former CEO of the bankrupt FTC stock exchange on multiple fraud charges, and a $4.3 billion deal with another major exchange, Binance, for its violation of anti-money laundering and US government sanctions.

Dimon and other CEOs of major banks, who were at the Capitol on Wednesday for a Senate meeting. audience on Wall Street regulation, testified that its institutions have controls in place to detect and stop illicit crypto transactions.

Warren, a prominent Wall Street critic, urged the assembled financial executives to support the "Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2023," a bill that would expand and tighten banking laws to prevent the use of cryptocurrencies for money laundering, ransomware attacks, financial fraud and other illegal activities.

Despite calls for a government crackdown, the price of the world's largest cryptocurrency, bitcoin, has risen more than 150% this year to nearly $44,000, according to price tracker. CoinDesk.

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