JPMorgan Chase Fears Cryptocurrencies to be Disruptive to Competition

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An internal report suggests that JPMorgan Chase is feeling threatened by decentralized currency in digital form. News dug deeper into the bank's Annual Report.

Under the rubric Competition, deep in the report, the bank worries aloud: “The financial services industry is highly competitive, and JPMorgan Chase’s results of operations will suffer if it is not a strong and effective competitor. JPMorgan Chase operates in a highly competitive environment, and expects that competition in the U.S. and global financial services industry will continue to be intense.”

In the past JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon has referred to Bitcoin as a "fraud", only to walk back those comments weeks later.

"The blockchain is real," he said in January.  "You can have cryptodollars in yen and stuff like that.  ICOs, you gotta look at every one individually."

Dimon does say he remains concerned about how "governments are going to feel about bitcoin when it gets really big."

The disruption of technologies appears to have JPMorgan Chase the most reluctant to embrace cryptocurrencies.

From News:

After quick lines about the growth of e-commerce, the Report finally comes out with it. “These advances have also allowed financial institutions and other companies to provide electronic and internet-based financial solutions, including electronic securities trading, payment processing and online automated algorithmic-based investment advice. Furthermore, both financial institutions and their non-banking competitors face the risk that payment processing and other services could be disrupted by technologies, such as cryptocurrencies, that require no intermediation. New technologies have required and could require JPMorgan Chase to spend more to modify or adapt its products to attract and retain clients and customers or to match products and services offered by its competitors, including technology companies.”

And “intermediation” is Wall Street talk for banks. Cryptocurrencies can have the eventual impact of putting “downward pressure on prices and fees for JPMorgan Chase’s products and services or may cause JPMorgan Chase to lose market share,” the bank revealed.

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- Aaron Goldstein,

Business/Financial News

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