While large financial institutions have a history of hesitance regarding cryptocurrency, it appears that one of the most powerful names in banking is beginning to change its tune. JPMorgan has taken another step toward embracing the alternative platform by providing services to two crypto exchange customers, Coinbase and Gemini.
After an extensive vetting process, America’s largest bank finally seems to be moving toward the acceptance of and participation in cryptocurrency services. This comes over a year after the financial juggernaut first introduced its own dollar-backed digital tender, JPM Coin. The move can be seen as a major validation of the future of blockchain-driven e-commerce by a key utility in global finance. With Bitcoin trading at a value near $10k, it could be a matter of time before cryptocurrency becomes the new normal.
The cryptocurrency market has been largely avoided by financial institutions since Bitcoin’s introduction over ten years ago, so the about-face comes as a welcome surprise in an economy growing more dependent on digital exchanges. JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon once famously dismissed Bitcoin as “a fraud” before eventually acknowledging “the blockchain is real,” but this latest news signals a distinct trend toward a crypto-dominated future.
JPMorgan becomes the first of the major American banks to exchange in Bitcoin, which has long been considered too volatile and risky for traditional banks. JPM is primarily taking on the firms’ cash-management and US dollar-based transactions, however, the blessing of the biggest bank in the US is potentially a huge asset for all cryptocurrencies moving forward.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses are moving even further into e-commerce and contactless payment, so blockchain technology is destined to continue expanding into the world economy. The cryptocurrency market is currently worth over $267 million in USD, and it’s steadily moving further away from its shadowy beginnings on the dark web. Bitpay has just announced the launch of a new pre-paid MasterCard that converts Bitcoin into fiat currency for everyday use, and Visa is already patenting a digital replacement for cash, so it seems Dimon’s grand pivot is just the beginning for JP Morgan Chase and the future of financial technology.