- REUTERS/Brian Snyder
- JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon dinged Facebook’s cryptocurrency Libra, saying it was a “neat idea” that won’t happen.
- Facebook announced the currency in June, with the idea that people all over the world could use it to pay for services online.
- But regulators and prospective partners are suspicious, fearing that the currency could be used for criminal purposes and that it jeopardizes financial stability.
- Dimon didn’t elaborate, but he’s previously expressed skepticism about digital currencies, once describing bitcoin as a fraud.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Facebook’s uphill struggle with its cryptocurrency Libra just got a little steeper, after the CEO of one of the world’s biggest banks said the currency “will never happen.”
JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon dinged the currency at a conference by the Institute of International Finance in Washington, saying: “It was a neat idea that’ll never happen.”
Dimon didn’t elaborate much further, but added: “We already have stablecoins, so they’re not the first to do that.”
A stablecoin is a digital currency pegged to an existing currency, like the dollar. Libra is intended to be pegged to a basket of currencies including the dollar, the euro, and the yen.
Dimon’s remarks come after a rough two weeks for Facebook’s Libra.
The firm announced Libra in June, along with a coalition of 28 initial backers who would help govern the currency and get it off the ground, expected to be the end of 2020.
Through October, a quarter of those backers dropped out, including Mastercard, Visa, Stripe, and PayPal, leaving Facebook with no major payment partners. The remaining 21 partners, including Spotify, Uber, and Lyft, confirmed their commitment to the currency in mid-October.
But politicians and regulators remain suspicious. The G7 group of wealthy nations said this month that stablecoins shouldn’t be permitted to launch until they properly address all the financial risks. The worry is that new currencies might be funnelled into funding terrorist or criminal activity. And France has said that it will block Libra from operating in Europe.
A Libra executive also recently suggested that the currency won’t be ready to launch by the end of 2020, as originally planned.
Facebook’s Libra chief David Marcus has scrambled both to defend the currency, and to emphasise that it will be overseen by all its partners and not just Facebook.
Dimon has long been a cryptocurrency skeptic. He famously described bitcoin as “a fraud”, though he then said he regretted making those comments. He later said he believes in the technology that underpins bitcoin, the blockchain, and JPMorgan in February became the first US bank to launch its own cryptocurrency.
You can watch Dimon’s remarks in CNBC’s YouTube video of the conference below from 34’32: