JP Morgan‘s CEO Jamie Dimon famously called Bitcoin a fraud a few years back. But his attitude to blockchain has been far warmer. At this week’s SIBOS banking conference, his enthusiasm for blockchain seemed muted, especially in comparison to his opinions about cloud and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Talking about blockchain, he stated there has been “very little effective use of it”.
The biggest U.S. bank recently offloaded its Quorum enterprise blockchain to Ethereum technology firm ConsenSys, but it still has significant blockchain interests. These include the JPM Coin tokenized payments initiative and the Interbank Information Network (IIN), a payment messaging network with more than 400 banks that helps with cross border payments compliance.
To put Dimon’s quote in context, here’s what he had to say in full about blockchain at SIBOS:
“It’s real. It’s been around for ten or twelve years. And very little effective use of it. It’s a very complicated technology that has to be rolled out by use case,” said Dimon.
“So you guys (pointing to blockchain leader Christine Moy) are building, which I think is brilliant, IIN.” At that point, there was a noticeable cut in the pre-recorded talk. He continued: “We’re kind of at the forefront of trying to use blockchain for various things. It’s expandable and will dramatically reduce problems in fraud and stuff like that.”
You can see his comments got warmer as he got going. But they contrasted with Dimon’s observations about other technologies before he got to distributed ledger technology (DLT). He was very upbeat about moving to cloud, describing it as ‘got to get it done’. He said, “maybe 20% of our stuff is on cloud. We’ve got to get it all there. It allows you to move quicker, it cheapens things, allows you to be much more agile.”
Talking about AI applications, Dimon said, “that is even more super real in terms of risk, fraud, marketing, management capability. It already does so much stuff for us. It’s truly unbelievable. Every management team has to say what can I do with AI?”
In other news, the bank’s Quorum and digital assets strategy lead Oli Harris recently jumped ship to Goldman Sachs.
Is JP Morgan’s Dimon losing patience with blockchain?Yesterday, Coindesk reported that Christine Moy has taken on the role of leader of the IIN project adding to her current position as head of the Blockchain Center of Excellence.