JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said he is no longer going to discuss bitcoin after much his-publicized criticism of calling the cryptocurrency ‘a fraud’ last month.
Noted bitcoin critic and Wall Street banker Jamie Dimon has been known to make dramatic statements about bitcoin, calling it a ‘fraud’ that will ‘get someone killed’. The chief executive of America’s largest bank by assets also said he would fire any employee trading bitcoin for being “stupid.”
In an earnings conference call today to discuss the bank’s third-quarter performance with journalists today, Dimon has revealed he will no longer make any comments about the world’s most prominent decentralized currency on a day when it surged to a new record all-time high.
Dimon told journalists:
I wouldn’t put this high in the category of important things in the world, but I’m not going to talk about bitcoin anymore.
Dimon did leave a parting shot at bitcoin, claiming JP Morgan moves “trillions of dollars a day…digitally. It’s not cash.” The banker has made similar statements belittling bitcoin in the past. In November 2015, Dimon said: “Bitcoin is like 2 billion dollars or 3 billion dollars. We (JP Morgan) move $6 trillion a day.”
In two years since those comments, bitcoin’s market cap has made significant strides due to an increase of awareness, adoption and trust, by people and even governments, around the world. The total value of bitcoins mined currently stands at $86.2 billion.
JP Morgan’s chief financial officer Marianne Lake added to the conversation, telling reporters today:
We are open-minded for digital currencies that are properly controlled and regulated.
Jamie Dimon’s comments are in contrast to those of other major Wall Street bankers who expressed more nuanced, open-minded positions with cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein publicly revealed he “is still thinking about Bitcoin” without “endorsing/rejecting” it after reports of the bank launching a dedicated bitcoin trading operation. In a public finance conference last month, Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman called bitcoin “a fascinating development, that’s certainly something more than just a fad.”