“When it comes to crypto as a payment method, we have a lot of demand for our clients, let’s say up until six months ago,” said Georgakopoulos. “We see very little right now.” The price of Bitcoin is down over 55% over the past six months according to data from CoinGecko.
While the bank is still supporting clients who want to use cryptocurrencies as a payment method, Georgakopoulos said they are avoiding principal risk on the assets and that they remain “a niche use case, at least for now.”
Still, Georgakopoulos said JP Morgan sees digital currencies “as an alternative payment in the future that has some inherent advantages and also some issues compared to traditional payment methods.” Some advantages include the asset’s ability to exchange information, and its security and privacy, he added.
This is why Georgakopoulos says JP Morgan is still investing in cryptocurrency projects and watching the development of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). He notes that the bank is building its own blockchain network, Onyx, that allows them to work with fiat currencies as well as digital currencies or CBDCs as they evolve in the future.
JPMorgan was one of the first banks to move into the cryptocurrency space and it recently became one of the key backers of London-based digital-asset startup Ownera, and in May experimented with using blockchain for collateral settlements.