The CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, Brian Armstrong, has called on JPMorgan Chase customers in the United Kingdom to close their accounts with the bank. This bold move comes in response to JPMorgan’s announcement that Chase declined crypto payments, a decision that has sent shockwaves through the growing crypto community. Armstrong deemed Chase’s actions as “wholly unsuitable,” and he urged crypto enthusiasts in the UK to consider closing their Chase accounts in response to the bank’s treatment of the crypto community. This development comes at a time when the British government is actively working to position the UK as a prominent global hub for cryptocurrencies.
Coin Base’s CEO Expresses Strong Disapproval of Chase Bank’s Anti-Crypto Policy
Brian Armstrong, the CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase (Nasdaq: COIN), openly rebuked Chase UK, the British retail bank under JPMorgan, for its recent decision to halt all cryptocurrency-related payments. Armstrong took to the social media platform X to voice his disapproval:
“Totally inappropriate behaviour from Chase UK (this is their UK bank only is my understanding) … UK crypto holders should close their Chase accounts if this is how they’re going to be treated.”
Armstrong also reached out to British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Member of Parliament Andrew Griffith through X to bring attention to Chase’s shift in its anti-crypto policy. In his message, the Coinbase CEO conveyed that it seemed Chase UK was not aligned with the government’s policy objectives.
The British government has been actively working towards establishing the United Kingdom as a prominent center for digital assets. In April of the previous year, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak expressed his vision of turning the UK into a global hub for crypto asset technology. This vision was articulated when he held the position of Chancellor of the Exchequer. Additionally, Chief Secretary to the Treasury John Glen emphasized the government’s aspiration for the country to become a global hub, aiming to be the most favorable location in the world for the establishment and growth of crypto-related companies.
Chase recently conveyed to its clientele in the United Kingdom:
“From 16 October 2023, if we think you are making a payment related to crypto assets, we’ll decline it. If you’d still like to invest in crypto assets, you can try using a different bank or provider instead — but please be cautious, as you may not be able to get the money back if the payment ends up being related to fraud or a scam.”
JPMorgan Chase Cites Crypto Fraud Concerns as Reason for Payment Block
The bank elaborated, stating, “This decision stems from the growing trend of fraudsters using cryptocurrency assets to perpetrate substantial monetary thefts. Rejecting these transactions is among the measures we’ve implemented to enhance your safety and protect your finances.”
Expanding on Chase’s recent policy of blocking crypto payments, the CEO of Coinbase expressed his hope, saying, “I sincerely wish that there’s more context to this situation than what is immediately evident and that this doesn’t truly represent Chase UK’s stance.”
The clash between JPMorgan Chase and the cryptocurrency community, where Chase declines crypto payments, underscores the ongoing struggle between traditional banking institutions and the rapidly evolving world of digital assets. Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong’s call for UK customers to reconsider their association with Chase UK highlights the growing influence of cryptocurrencies and their potential to disrupt established financial norms. Meanwhile, the British government’s efforts to position the UK as a global crypto hub further intensify this debate. As regulators and financial institutions grapple with the complexities of cryptocurrencies, the future relationship between traditional banking and digital assets remains uncertain, with profound implications for the financial landscape.