JPMorgan Chase hires ex-Celsius’ director of crypto regulatory policy

abdelaziz Fathi

Multinational investment bank JPMorgan Chase & Co has appointed Aaron Iovine, a former executive at bankrupt cryptocurrency lender Celsius Network, as executive director of digital assets regulatory policy.

At Celsius, Iovine spent nearly seven months as head of policy and regulatory affairs before leaving his position in September. Prior to his time at the embattled crypto lender, he worked for more than two years in an analogues role at Cross River Bank, a small community bank that caters to fintech companies.

On his LinkedIn profile, Mr. Iovine said he has “focused on developing policies that foster responsible innovation while emphasizing consumer protection and regulatory oversight and has worked on issues related to crypto licensing, anti-money-laundering requirements and cybersecurity standards.”

Earlier in June, Celsius abruptly announced that it was pausing all withdrawals, swaps and transfers between users’ accounts because of extreme market volatility. The crypto lending and borrowing platform was apparently first looking for possible financing options from investors but is also exploring other strategic alternatives.

Goldman Sachs was reportedly looking to secure $2 billion in funding to buy up distressed assets from Celsius in the event that the troubled crypto lender goes bankrupt.

Celsius has hired restructuring attorneys to advise on possible solutions for its mounting financial problems. Citigroup has also been enlisted by the firm to advise on possible solution.

JPMorgan Chase, which moves more than $6 trillion every day across more than 100 countries, already gives its wealthy clients access to six cryptocurrency investment funds. However, it was not the only financial institution exploring the potential of cryptocurrency as part of its efforts to modernize their legacy investment vehicles.

JPMorgan, which its CEO, Jamie Dimon once bashed cryptocurrencies as a fraud that will not end well for its investors, created a new unit to handle its blockchain business called Onyx.

The Wall Street giant’s blockchain and crypto unit also launched a digital currency, which a few clients had already begun using it to instantly send and settle payments around the world. Dubbed ‘JPM Coin’, the stablecoin facilitates the transfer of payments between institutional clients, the latest step in Wall Street’s evolving approach to the crypto space. However, the coin is available only for international payments for large corporate clients, that have undergone regulatory checks.

JPM Coin also serves as a payment rail and deposit account ledger, enabling participating entities to transfer US Dollars held on deposit with the largest bank in the United States, the report added.

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