Crypto industry commentators are lambasting Jamie Dimon after JPMorgan was named by BlackRock as its authorized participant for the asset manager’s yet-to-be-greenlighted spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), given the CEO’s infamous criticism of the premier cryptocurrency.
JPMorgan Named As Authorized Participant
Wall Street giant BlackRock dropped its updated Form S-1 application on Friday — the last day that applicants could do so — naming banking giant JP Morgan Securities and quantitative trading company Jane Street as authorized participants (APs).
An authorized participant is an organization that works with the exchange-traded fund (ETF) issuer to create and redeem shares of the fund. This is an important role in the ETF business as it involves ensuring ETF prices stay closely tied to the value of their underlying assets, in this case, bitcoin (BTC).
According to pundits, this is possibly the last step of the application process before the widely expected — possibly imminent — approval from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
BlackRock was the first ETF contender to announce who would acquire the BTC on its behalf. Fund manager Valkyrie also named Jane Street as one of its authorized participants, in addition to Cantor Fitzgerald. Invesco and Galaxy Digital have also tapped JPMorgan for their prospective spot ETFs.
Crypto Community Points Out The Irony Of JPMorgan’s Bitcoin ETF Involvement
BlackRock, the largest fund manager in the world, in June filed paperwork with the SEC to list a spot bitcoin ETF, vaulting the price of BTC higher. Since then, BlackRock boss Larry Fink has been praising the flagship crypto, calling it an “international asset” that “digitizes gold”.
The real fun could start in a matter of days as market watchers expect the SEC to finally approve a spot bitcoin ETF in early 2024. At least 13 firms have been in talks with the SEC, with hopes to break into the new spot ETF market and let their institutional customers buy shares that track the price of BTC — an asset that can be unfamiliar to buy and store for everyday investors.
Crypto enthusiasts noted the irony of JPMorgan being named in spot bitcoin ETF applications.
“Why is Jamie Dimon allowing JPM to participate in money laundering, tax evasion, criminal participation, and drug trafficking? If Blackrock wants to do all of that then fine, but how can JP Morgan do all of that after telling Congress and Elizabeth Warren that this is what it’s used for?” a user going by the name Sunny Po observed on X.
JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon is a longtime naysayer of Bitcoin.
At a Senate hearing earlier this month, the banker told lawmakers that he would ban crypto if he were the government and is “deeply opposed” to the asset class. At the time, Dimon argued that the main use case for crypto assets was criminality.