JPMorgan Chase closes Uniswap founder's bank accounts

Quick Take

  • JPMorgan Chase has closed the bank accounts of Hayden Adams, the founder of the largest decentralized exchange protocol Uniswap.
  • The move is “likely a shadow de-banking of crypto” by Fed or OCC bank examiners, according to former CFTC chairman Brian Quintenz.

Uniswap founder Hayden Adams tweeted Sunday that JPMorgan Chase has closed his bank accounts without notice or explanation.

"I know many individuals and companies who have been similarly targeted simply for working in the crypto industry," wrote Adams. "Thanks for making it a personal."

Adams' bank accounts were closed last week. The move comes a few months after the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reportedly started investigating Uniswap Labs, the main developer of the world's largest decentralized exchange protocol Uniswap.

In September, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing "people familiar with the matter," that the SEC enforcement attorneys are investigating Uniswap Labs about how investors use the decentralized exchange protocol and how it is marketed.

At the time, a Uniswap Labs spokesperson told The Journal that the firm is "committed to complying with the laws and regulations governing our industry and to providing information to regulators that will assist them with any inquiry."

Brian Quintenz, the former chairman of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), who now works as an advisory partner at the crypto-focused investment firm Andreessen Horowitz, weighed in on the matter.

"Likely a shadow de-banking of crypto by [The Federal Reserve] or [The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency] bank examiners, with direction from the top. If the examiner told a bank that a certain customer is too risky and the bank ended that relationship, the bank is contractually prevented from telling that customer why," Quintenz tweeted as a reply to Adams' initial tweet.

This is not the first time JPMorgan Chase has closed an account of a crypto executive or a crypto firm. In 2018, the bank closed an account of Erik Voorhees, founder of the crypto exchange ShapeShift. The bank has previously also shut down an account of crypto exchange Kraken's payroll account.

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About Author

Yogita is a senior reporter at The Block and covers all things crypto. Before joining The Block, Yogita worked for CoinDesk and The Economic Times. She can be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @Yogita_Khatri5.