JPMorgan Adds Head of Crypto Policy After Dimon’s ‘Ponzi Scheme’ Quip – Rayrice Forex News

JPMorgan Adds Head of Crypto Policy After Dimon’s ‘Ponzi Scheme’ Quip

JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon told lawmakers that cryptocurrencies are “decentralized Ponzi schemes,” less than a month after he hired a new digital assets regulator.

Aaron Iovine joined the company this week in a newly created role as director of digital assets regulatory policy, a JPMorgan spokeswoman confirmed. He was previously head of policy and regulation for cryptocurrency lender Celsius Networks Ltd., whose bankruptcy decision rocked the digital asset market.

JPMorgan is looking to build its policy stance on the evolving digital asset space amid regulatory scrutiny and the fall in cryptocurrency values.

Iovine did not respond to a request for comment.

Dimon and other JPMorgan executives have been vocal critics of digital assets.

Dimon’s “Ponzi scheme” comments came during congressional testimony on September 21, during which he called himself “a major skeptic of crypto tokens.” Takis Georgakopoulos, global head of payments at JPMorgan, told Bloomberg Television last month that “very few” consider cryptocurrencies as a means of payment.

JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon testified before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee on September 22, 2022.

Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg

In addition to hiring Iovine, JPMorgan this month opened a digital assets advisory position with its corporate and investment bank in New York.

Stacey Friedman, JPMorgan’s general counsel since 2015, did not respond to a request for comment on the New York-based financial services giant’s interest in lawyers familiar with distributed ledger technologies.

Iovine will work with JPMorgan’s regulatory affairs group, which a year ago welcomed former Davis Polk & Wardwell senior associate Sharon Young as managing director and head of global regulatory affairs. Young previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Financial Markets in the Treasury Department.

Celsius earlier this year hired Iovine from Cross River Bank, a digital asset-friendly regional lender. The company recently brought on Benjamin Melnicki as head of compliance and regulatory affairs at Robinhood Markets Inc.

Like Melnicki, an attorney, Iovine spent three years at Cross River, where he managed policy and regulatory affairs. Cross River hired Iovi in ​​2019 after spending about a year as a senior regulatory analyst at the law firm White & Case.

During the first quarter of this year, Iovine was part of a cross-river team that “advocated for Congress on general issues focused on financial services, fintech partnerships and the Wage Protection Program,” according to a public statement.

Iovine left Fort Lee, NJ-based Cross River in February to join Celsius, according to his LinkedIn profile. An online bio highlights Iovine’s expertise in “exploring the future of financial services while working at the intersection of law, policy and governance.”

He left Celsius in September, two months after the cryptocurrency rewards income and lending platform filed for bankruptcy in New York.

The Chapter 11 case has racked up big legal bills for Kirkland and Ellis—court records show the latter received at least $3.5 million in retainer fees and other firms. The debtor also brought a fraud suit against London-based Celsius by a former employee of the company whom the debtor accused of fraud.

In the Celsius case, bankruptcy filings show Iovine’s name appears on a list of thousands of unsecured creditors with claims against the company. Among them is Ron Deisch, a former consultant at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison who was hired by Celsius last year as general counsel and head of mergers and acquisitions.

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