JP Morgan Leads Wall Street in Blockchain Hiring, Despite CEO’s Previous Comments
According to reporting by Michael del Castillo of Forbes, America’s largest bank, JP Morgan Chase & Co, is currently hiring for more blockchain jobs than any other Wall Street Firm. Many in the cryptocurrency space find this ironic considering past comments made against bitcoin by the bank’s CEO Jamie Dimon.
In the past, Dimon had called bitcoin “a scam” and said if any JPMorgan trader where to trade bitcoin, “I’d fire them in a second. For two reasons: It’s against our rules, and they’re stupid. And both are dangerous.” In another ironic twist, Dimon added his daughter had purchased some bitcoin.
Dimon also said, “If you were in Venezuela or Ecuador or North Korea or a bunch of parts like that, or if you were a drug dealer, a murderer, stuff like that, you are better off doing it in bitcoin than U.S. dollars. So there may be a market for that, but it’d be a limited market.”
Contrary to this criticism, Lilita Infante of the DEA’s Cyber Investigation Task Force reported that the legal bitcoin trade vastly outshadows illegal use of bitcoin. She finds that criminal activity involved with bitcoin has been reduced to 10 percent of transactions.
Regardless of Dimon’s beliefs, the bank he operates is certainly showing signs of an internal blockchain boom. According to the Forbes report, the only companies to post more jobs than JPMorgan Chase where tech firms IBM and Cisco. Leading the pack, as well, are consulting firms Accenture, EY, KPMG, and Deloitte. Deloitte leads the list for the most blockchain job postings.
Indeed.com economist Andrew Flowers, responding to Forbes, stated, “It’s notable that there’s a lack of financial and banking companies hiring for something that’s made to replace money.” Flowers notes, also, that currently there are, for the first time, more job postings than searches. For a more general perspective, since 2016, Indeed finds a 4,086% increase in blockchain related job postings and a 553% increase in job searches.
The large increase in job postings by JPMorgan Chase is likely due in part to the bank’s creation of its “JPM Coin.” Initially reported by CNBC, the coin is aimed to “instantly settle transactions between clients of its wholesale payment business.” In the same report, the seeming division among the company’s direction and its CEO’s comments was noted; “While J.P. Morgan’s Jamie Dimon has bashed bitcoin as a “fraud,” the bank chief and his managers have consistently said blockchain and regulated digital currencies held promise.”
It is important for people to understand that the blockchain and cryptocurrency that JPMorgan Chase has created is private and not public. Many traditional institutions are looking to adopt distributed ledger technology without sacrificing centralized control and do his through permissioned blockchains.