JPMorgan Chase execs weigh in on stablecoin regulation, crypto competition

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While the OCC’s new stablecoin guidance doesn’t have an impact on JPM Coin, it could lead to crypto payments if there’s demand

During JP Morgan Chase’s Q4 2020 earnings call, CEO Jamie Dimon and CFO Jennifer Piepszak weighed in on the OCC’s recent approval of banks using stablecoins for payments, as well as whether or not the approval will have any impact on the development of JPM Coin. 

During the question-and-answers portion of the call, Portales Partners analyst Charles Peabody asked about the approval from the OCC for banks to use public blockchain networks for payments.

“That guidance enables an offering of stable going on a public blockchain. So that doesn’t impact JPM coin. JPM coin, you should think about as the tokenization of our customer deposits,” responded JPM CFO Jennifer Piepszak, according to a transcript of the call.

However, she did not rule out the possibility of a JPM-backed stablecoin if customers showed interest.

“So, it’s obviously very early. We will assess use cases and — and customers demand. But — but it’s still too early to see where this goes for us.”

JPM CEO Jamie Dimon was also quick to jump in and mention that the bank is “using blockchain for sharing data with banks already and so we are at the forefront of that which is good.”

Debuted in October of 2020, JPM Coin is largely used on the backend of JPM’s payments systems, helping to settle nearly $6 trillion in payments on a daily basis. On the call, Piepszak also described the JPM Coin project as “tokenizing deposits to make payments easier for client.”

Ultimately, Dimon seemed to imply to crypto payments settlement won’t greatly change how JPM operates.

“There is this talk about several banks having digital currencies and stuff like that, right?” Dimon concluded. “[…] So I — I do expect that stuff is coming and it may not change our world that much”

Dimon may be underestimating the impact crypto will have on the payments landscape, however. 

Paypal, one of the Fintech giants that Dimon mentioned by name as a payments competitor, confirmed that crypto payments will be available starting in 2021. The CEO — a former noted skeptic of cryptocurrencies — made it clear that payments will become an increasingly crowded and cutthroat field over the next decade:

I expect it to be very, very tough competition in the next 10 years. I expect to win. So help me God.

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