JP Morgan Chase has hired former Celsius executive Aaron Lovine as executive director of digital assets regulatory policy, the latest move in the bank’s oscillating regard for the crypto industry. 

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Fast facts

  • A JPMorgan spokesperson confirmed the appointment after Lovine, who headed policy and regulatory affairs at Celsius in February-September 2022, added the job title to his Linkedin profile.
  • The appointment comes days after the latest instance of crypto disparagement by the bank’s Chief Executive Jamie Dimon, who has repeatedly called crypto tokens “decentralized Ponzis” even as he said blockchain technology was “real”, adding to what is seen as a trend of hypocrisy in JPMorgan’s view of crypto.
  • At the Institute of International Finance meeting last week, Dimon called Bitcoin “worthless” before promoting how JPMorgan can “get [their clients] legitimate as clean as possible access” to the cryptocurrency. 
  • Umar Farooq, CEO of the bank’s Onyx blockchain unit, has also undermined the legitimacy of the crypto industry, saying “most of crypto is still junk” and is bound to “go away.”
  • On Sept. 12, 2017, Dimon called Bitcoin a “fraud” and threatened to fire any employee trading Bitcoin for being “stupid.” Just two days later, after prices fell following Dimon’s damning comments, JP Morgan Securities purchased the fourth highest amount of Bitcoin across any brokerage, revealed by public trading information.

See related article: How JPMorgan’s Onyx is redefining payments in banking with blockchain