Amidst the rising scepticism about Facebook’s Libra project JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive Jamie Dimon has commented that it is “a neat idea that will never happen.” He made the remark at a conference in Washington, D.C. organised by the Institute of International Finance last Friday.
Dimon did not explain the reason behind his remark though he added that, “We already have stable coins. They’re not the first to do that.” JPMorgan launched its own digital coin, the JPM Coin, earlier this year and is the first American bank to do so. Dimon also expressed his faith on the JPM Coin by stating, “It’s backed by a dollar, so it’s really stable.”
Dimon was accompanied by Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman and both of them discussed the recent technological efforts being taken by their firms and the associated risks.
An earlier report stated that JPMorgan had decided to stay away from the Libra project as it was concerned that the currency will be used for criminal activities that would violate money-laundering and sanctions rules.
Facebook is having a rough time with Libra as high profile partners, including Visa, Mastercard, PayPal and eBay, have walked away from the project in the past weeks. This comment, coming from the CEO of the largest bank in America, will add to its struggles.
Dimon has been a strong critic of cryptocurrencies in the past and had called bitcoin a “fraud” that will be crushed by governments. He later regretted saying that, but maintained his apathy about cryptocurrencies. When JPMorgan launched the JPM Coin last February, they made a statement declaring that they are supportive of cryptocurrencies “as long as they are properly controlled and regulated.”
In spite of the setback of the past few weeks, David Marcus, who leads the Libra project at Facebook expressed his confidence about the future of Libra. “I would caution against reading the fate of Libra into this update,” he said. Speaking to reporters, he also added the he hopes to get more than100 banks and financial firms on board the project once it satisfactorily address all regulatory concerns.
“..Change of this magnitude is hard. You know you’re on to something when so much pressure builds up,” remarked Marcus.
Recently, to Facebooks’ relief, 21 of the remaining companies partnering with Libra, including including Spotify, Uber, and Lyft, have confirmed their commitment to the currency. But if reports are to be believed, Libra will not be ready to launch by the end of 2020 as planned earlier.