While Jamie Dimon has come under some (rather hilarious) fire for sh!tting all over Bitcoin, the JPMorgan (JPM) CEO has also stated publicly that he is more than a little intrigued by the technology behind the virtual currency, something called the Blockchain.
The Khaleesi of Wall Street has also been one of the more vocal bank CEO proponents of bringing Fintech into his shop, so it would all make sense that JPM would be looking to get way more familiar with Blockchain technology. And as luck would have it, the bank has a dear old pal toiling away in the Bitcoin mines these days...
So sayeth the FT...
The bank is collaborating with Digital Asset Holdings, the New York-based start-up run by Blythe Masters, the bank’s former head of commodities. The pair are looking at several applications for the technology, including addressing liquidity mismatches in JPMorgan’s loan funds, which normally let investors take out their money at short notice — even though the underlying assets can require much more time to sell.
Blythe Masters and JPM; together again. And why wouldn't Jamie and Daniel Pinto want to get Blythe to teach them about a cool new thing ? It worked out so well with credit default swaps!
But even more than getting their prodigal BFF back, the deal with Digital Asset Holdings might also give JPM's top execs the chance to maintain the inside lane on future relationships with a suddenly white hot startup.
Last week Digital Asset Holdings announced it had raised more than $50m from a group of 13 financial companies including JPMorgan, Citigroup, Deutsche Börse and the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation.
Goldman Sachs is now in discussions to join that latest round of funding, according to people familiar with the situation.
So, sure, it's good business, but doesn't it just feel right to have Jamie and Blythe working together on an idea that could be the future of finance...or a tech-enabled instrument of economic disaster?
Happy Groundhog Day.