JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM - Get Report) CEO Jamie Dimon, who once described bitcoin as a fraud, says the bank's new cryptocurrency for big corporate customers could eventually be available for use by consumers.
The largest U.S. bank earlier this month unveiled a new "JPM Coin" that banks, brokerage firms and corporate treasurers can use to send money to each other. For now, it's not available to retail-banking customers, but that could change at some point, Dimon told Wall Street analysts on a public conference call on Tuesday, Feb. 26.
"JPM Coin could one day be consumer," Dimon said. He didn't elaborate on the plan or internal discussions.
According to JPMorgan, the new cryptocurrency will be backed by U.S. dollars on a one-for-one basis.
Customers will put money into a JPMorgan bank account, receive an equivalent amount of JPM Coin and then use the in-house credits to make payments with other JPMorgan customers.
Such a framework sets it apart from bitcoin, which can be traded by anyone with a computer and is notably independent of the global banking system. JPMorgan claimed it's the first U.S. bank to create and successfully test a digital coin representing a fiat currency such as the dollar.
Dimon said at an investor conference in 2017 that bitcoin was a "fraud" and "worse than tulip bulbs," even as he applauded advances in blockchain, the key technology behind cryptocurrencies. He later said he regretted the comments.