JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon is the latest business leader to weigh in on Facebook’s planned cryptocurrency platform Libra, playing down its significance amid a surge of public interest.
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President Trump, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, a bevy of lawmakers are just some of the recent high-powered voices that have weighed in on the idea – as Facebook representatives testified on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.
Dimon, however, was relatively unfazed by the public clamor.
“To put it in perspective … we’ve been talking about blockchain for seven years and very little has happened,” he said during the company’s second quarter earnings call on Tuesday. “You’re going to be talking about Libra three years from now. I wouldn’t spend too much time on it.”
Dimon notoriously referred to bitcoin a “fraud.” However, JPMorgan is working on launching its own digital currency – potentially making it the first large U.S. bank to do so.
He also said he was not concerned about competition.
On Monday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin gave a press conference highlighting the Trump administration’s concerns about Libra – which include fears that the cryptocurrency could be misused by terrorist financiers and/or money launderers to carry out illicit activities.
Mnuchin said that he was not comfortable with the social media giant launching the platform “today,” adding that Facebook executives had a lot of work to do before those concerns were assuaged – and before they are able to convince the government that they should be granted access to the U.S. financial system.
Mnuchin also brought up concerns over “privacy issues,” after the company was fined a record amount by the Federal Trade Commission over its data privacy practices.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell also said last week there were “serious concerns” about Libra, specifically where consumer protection, illicit activity and financial stability were concerned.
Meanwhile, Facebook’s David Marcus, who heads the company’s digital wallet – Calibra – testified before lawmakers on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, where he faced serious criticism.
Facebook recently unveiled plans to offer a digital wallet, which would allow for the instant transfer of money across the globe, providing banking options for people with limited access. It has said it will be one of a consortium of dozens of companies that would participate in the Libra Association – an independent entity that would manage the cryptocurrency.