Dimon downplays Facebook's crypto experiment: 'We're going to be talking about Libra' years from now

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Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JP Morgan Chase speaking at the New York Economic Club on Jan. 16th, 2019.

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Jamie Dimon isn’t losing sleep over Facebook‘s bid to create a new global financial system.

When asked on Tuesday about Facebooks’ Libra cryptocurrency project, which has been lambasted recently by President Trump and his administration, the J.P. Morgan Chase CEO replied that he didn’t see it as a near-term threat.

“To put it in perspective, we’ve been talking about blockchain for 7 years and very little has happened,” Dimon said during a conference call with analysts. “We’re going to be talking about Libra three years from now. I wouldn’t spend too much time on it.”

Of course, Dimon is making his own bet on a digital coin that could transform the global payments landscape: JPM Coin. That effort, reported first in February by CNBC, would remain within the regulated confines of the biggest U.S. bank.

After Facebook, which controls the world’s biggest social network, announced its Libra project last month, central banks and elected officials around the world expressed concern. Last week, President Trump tweeted that if the tech giant wants to do banking activities, it must submit to banking regulations.

Dimon added Tuesday that he believes that any new efforts will have to conform to the industry’s rigorous anti-money laundering rules instigated after the financial crisis.

“We don’t mind competition,” Dimon said. “The request is always going to be the same: We want a level playing field. And governments are going to insist that people who hold money or move money all live according to rules where they have the right controls in place; no-one wants to aid and abet terrorism or criminal activities.”

The Senate Banking Committee is holding hearings on Libra Tuesday.

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