JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon is facing criticism from the crypto community on X (formerly Twitter) following his designation as an authorized participant (AP) by BlackRock, as revealed in the updated Form S-1 filed on Dec. 29.
Discussing the BlackRock amendment, Eric Balchunas, an ETF analyst at Bloomberg, remarked, “BlackRock just released its revised S-1, and it does list the APs: Jane Street and JPMorgan (which is somewhat ironic).”
An authorized participant is an entity granted the privilege to create and redeem shares of an exchange-traded fund (ETF).
In BlackRock’s updated filing, Jane Street and JPMorgan Securities were named as “authorized participants” for their proposed spot Bitcoin ETF application. Despite this association, Dimon has not publicly endorsed Bitcoin, with the BTC ticker currently down to $41,617.
During a December 6 hearing of the United States Senate Banking Committee focusing on Wall Street firm oversight, Dimon informed several U.S. lawmakers that, if given government authority, he would work towards shutting down the crypto sector. He asserted that Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies have a “only true use case” in facilitating criminal activities.
Crypto commentators swiftly highlighted the apparent contradiction of JPMorgan’s role as an authorized participant in BlackRock’s spot Bitcoin ETF. A crypto enthusiast named Silver Zimmermann on X (formerly Twitter) remarked, “Perhaps money laundering, tax evasion, criminal participation, and drug trafficking is their business as well.”
Questioning the inconsistency, another user, Sunny Po, stated on X.Pro-XRP, “If BlackRock wants to do all that, then fine, but how can JP Morgan do all that after telling Congress and Elizabeth Warren that this is what it’s used for?”
John Deaton, a lawyer specializing in XRP, also expressed doubt regarding Senator Elizabeth Warren’s stance on Bitcoin and highlighted JPMorgan’s willingness to engage with Bitcoin despite its “negative associations with criminals.” Deaton raised concerns about whether this was an attempt to mislead the public or engage in gaslighting.
Despite JPMorgan being “deeply opposed” to the digital asset sector, the bank recently introduced its crypto token, JPM Coin, on a private version of the Ethereum blockchain for its institutional clients. Moreover, in October, the bank launched a blockchain-based tokenization platform, with BlackRock among its clients. JPMorgan also participated in a $65 million funding round for Ethereum infrastructure firm Consensys in April 2021.