JPMorgan Hires Former Celsius Exec as New Head of Crypto Regulatory Policy

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JPMorgan (JPM) named Aaron Iovine, the former head of policy and regulatory affairs at bankrupt cryptocurrency lender Celsius Network, to run crypto regulatory policy, less than a month after CEO Jamie Dimon called the asset class “decentralized Ponzi schemes.”

What You Need to Know

  • JPMorgan has hired Aaron Iovine as its new head of crypto regulatory policy.
  • Iovine is the former head of policy and regulatory affairs for cryptocurrency lender Celsius Network.
  • Since JPMorgan has long been critical of cryptocurrency, the move is interesting.

What Dimon Thinks About Crypto

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon has long been a critic of cryptocurrencies. He has called himself a “major skeptic on crypto tokens.” Nevertheless, he praised blockchain technology, highlighting some of its “real” aspects and citing JPMorgan’s Onyx system for wholesale payments as an example.

Background of New Crypto Head

Before joining Celsius, Iovine led policy and regulatory affairs at Cross River Bank, a digital asset-friendly bank. Previously, he was a senior regulatory analyst at the law firm White & Case. Earlier this year, Iovine was part of a Cross River team that lobbied Congress on financial services, fintech partnerships, and payroll protection. 

His LinkedIn bio describes him as “exploring the future of financial services while working at the intersections of law, policy, and regulation.”  He states his focus throughout his career as “developing policies that foster responsible innovation while emphasizing consumer protection and regulatory oversight.” Iovine left Celsius two months after the platform filed for bankruptcy. The company is also facing fraud allegations from a former employee. According to a bankruptcy docket, Iovine is listed as one of the thousands of unsecured creditors with claims against them. 

The Bottom Line

JPMorgan’s latest move illustrates how giant banks aren’t going to miss out on the opportunity related to crypto. In 2019, JPMorgan launched its own U.S.-dollar pegged stablecoin dubbed JPM Coin. The bank also allows its wealth management clients to buy into Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum Classic, as well as shares in Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC). Earlier this month, it posted an opening for a digital assets counsel position with its corporate and investment bank.

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