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Former Celsius Exec Joins JPMorgan as New Crypto Policy Head

19 Oct, 20222 min readRegulation
Former Celsius Exec Joins JPMorgan as New Crypto Policy Head

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon may be calling cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin “decentralized Ponzi schemes,” but this hasn’t stop the world’s largest investment bank from hiring a new head of digital assets regulatory policy.

Aaron Iovine, who held a similar position at the now-bankrupt crypto lending firm Celsius, joined JPMorgan, per a Bloomberg Law report.

Iovine’s LinkedIn profile says he worked at Celsius between February and September this year, following an almost three-year spell at Cross River, a crypto-friendly New Jersey-based financial services company.

He will reportedly work with JPMorgan’s regulatory affairs group headed by Sharon Yang, who previously served as a deputy assistant secretary for international financial markets at the Treasury Department.

Decrypt has reached out to both JPMorgan and Iovine for comments and was yet to hear at the time of this writing.

JPMorgan and crypto

Iovine’s appointment came less than a month after JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon once again lashed out at cryptocurrencies, saying that he’s a “major skeptic of crypto tokens [...] like Bitcoin,” and comparing the new asset class to “decentralized Ponzi schemes.”

This was not the first time Dimon had turned his attention to crypto.

The 66-year-old billionaire first spoke about Bitcoin back in January 2014, not long before the collapse of Mt. Gox, stating that the world’s largest digital asset was “a terrible store of value” and that the cryptocurrency “can be replicated over and over.”

Over the years, Dimon has called Bitcoin a “fraud” and “fool’s gold,” but 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, JPMorgan also posted an opening for a digital assets counsel position with its corporate and investment bank in New York, with the successful applicant to be responsible for a wide range of duties, including advising on regulatory and compliance issues, daily business support and documentation issues related to the bank’s digital assets initiatives.

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