JPMorgan Chase CEO Jaime Dimon has slammed Bitcoin as ‘worthless’, drawing sharp responses from supporters of the cryptocurrency.
Dimon, a longtime critic of Bitcoin, made the remarks while participating virtually in an Institute of International Finance event on Monday, comparing the digital currency to cigarettes.
‘I personally think that Bitcoin is worthless,’ Dimon said at the conference. ‘I don’t think you should smoke cigarettes either.’
‘Our clients are adults. They disagree. If they want to have access to buy or sell bitcoin – we can’t custody it – but we can give them legitimate, as clean as possible access,’ he added.
JPMorgan Chase CEO Jaime Dimon has slammed Bitcoin as ‘worthless’, drawing sharp responses from supporters of the cryptocurrency
Bitcoin prices jumped to a five-month high on Monday, impervious to Dimon’s remarks
‘No matter what anyone thinks about it, government is going to regulate it. They are going to regulate it for (anti-money laundering) purposes, for (Bank Secrecy Act) purposes, for tax,’ Dimon said.
Dimon famously called Bitcoin a ‘fraud’ in 2017, when the cryptocurrency was trading at around $4,000.
Prices appeared unfazed by his latest remarks, jumping 5 percent as Bitcoin hit a five-month high of $57,819.12 on Monday.
Despite Dimon’s criticisms, JPMorgan has been one of the most active banks in blockchain, announcing it had created its own distributed ledger called Quorum in 2016, which was later sold to blockchain company Consensys.
The bank also developed a digital coin called JPM Coin and in 2020 created a blockchain division dubbed Onyx.
Bitcoin enthusiasts including Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey (above) were quick to hit back at Dimon, calling him clueless and out of touch
Onyx has more than 100 employees and its blockchain applications are close to generating revenues for the bank, the company says.
Among the division’s applications is Liink, a payments information network involving more than 400 banks, and a project to replace paper checks.
Bitcoin enthusiasts were quick to hit back at Dimon, calling him clueless and out of touch.
‘I personally think that Jaime Dimon is worth more to Bitcoin…’ Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted cryptically. Dorsey, also the founder of payments company Square, has been a constant advocate for Bitcoin.
Shares of JPMorgan Chase dropped on Monday and opened slightly down again Tuesday
Brian Armstrong, CEO of the cryptocurrency exchange platform Coinbase, tweeted that Dimon lacked the sophistication to understand the potential of the blockchain technology behind Bitcoin.
‘CEOs without a science/engineering background are going to be at a disadvantage in the coming decades I think. Honestly, probably politicians, journalists, and many roles,’ Armstrong tweeted.
‘Luckily, the tools to learn it are available online for free, and are getting better and better. It’s accessible to almost anyone, if they are willing to power through it, and at least learn the basics,’ he added.
Shares of JPMorgan Chase were down 0.89 percent in early trading on Tuesday, at $165.15.