JPMorgan Chase has hired former Celsius executive Aaron Iovine to be the executive director of digital assets regulatory policy, according to Iovine’s LinkedIn profile. And if you’re looking for an easy answer as to how anyone could escape from the recent Celsius catastrophe unscathed, we’re sorry to report we don’t have one.
The move, first reported by Bloomberg, comes after Celsius halted all withdrawals for users in June and filed for bankruptcy in July. Celsius owes users $4.7 billion and there are serious questions about whether customers will ever see their money again.
Iovine was the head of policy and regulatory affairs at Celsius before leaving in September after eight months with the doomed company, but that’s not the only reason the executive hire is raising eyebrows. JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon has previously called cryptocurrency “a fraud” and repeated that sentiment while testifying during congressional hearings just last month.
“I’m a major skeptic on crypto tokens, which you call currency, like bitcoin,” Dimon told lawmakers on September 21. “They are decentralized Ponzi schemes.”
Fittingly enough, Celsius and former CEO Alex Mashinsky are reportedly the target of investigations by at least 40 states into whether the crypto company was operating as little more than a Ponzi scheme. Mashinsky withdrew about $10 million shortly before the company collapsed, according to the Financial Times.
But it doesn’t look like Iovine is part of those investigation into alleged wrongdoing, at least as far as Gizmodo can tell. Which really gets us wondering: What was Iovine doing as the head of policy and regulatory affairs at Celsius? And why would JP Morgan be so ready to hire a former executive from arguably the second biggest crypto implosion of the year? The biggest, of course, being Luna’s $60 billion collapse.
Iovine didn’t immediately respond to questions sent via LinkedIn early Thursday morning. Gizmodo will update this article if we hear back.