- Getty Images/ Mark Wilson
JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon doubled down on his anti-bitcoin position, saying cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ether ‘are a kind of novelty.’
While talking to CNBC India on Friday, the billionaire banker said the recent proliferation of initial coin offerings, a red-hot cryptocurrency-based fundraising method, and digital coins like bitcoin concerns him.
“It’s creating something out of nothing that to me is worth nothing,” Dimon said.”It’ll end when people lose a lot of money.”
To raise money through an ICO, companies create their own digital coin or token. Investors have poured into ICOs this year with some companies raising millions of dollars in a matter of seconds from token sales.
Friday marked the second time this month Dimon has publicly bashed bitcoin and digital currencies. At the Barclays Financial Services Conference on September 12, Dimon called bitcoin a ‘fraud’ that would eventually blow up.
Dimon said Friday he thought governments would impede further growth of digital coins. According to Dimon, currencies need government backing.
Governments, according to Dimon,”like to control their currency” and “know who has it.”
“So right now I say these crypto things are kind of a novelty.” Dimon said. “But the bigger they get, the more governments are going to close them down.”
Chinese regulators, already, are moving forward to shut down bitcoin trading in the country.
Aaron Lasher, the chief marketing office at Breadwallet, a bitcoin technology company, told Business Insider that Dimon’s comments don’t surprise him because digital currencies are a direct attack on his business.
“Every dollar in cryptocurrency is another dollar in value that JPMorgan cannot monetize,” Lasher said. “What does it mean when a software company ‘manages’ as much money as a traditional bank?”
Blockswater, a Swedish algo-based liquidity provider, has filed a formal complaint to regulators against Dimon, claiming his comments on September 12 are tantamount to spreading “false and misleading information” about cryptocurrencies, according to reporting by City AM.
JPMorgan spokesman Brian Marchiony declined to comment.
Dimon, to be sure, is in favor of government-backed digital currencies and blockchain, the underpinning technology of bitcoin.
“So separate blockchain as a technology, it can be used for multiple things,” Dimon said
As for bitcoin, the digital coin was trading down more than 1% Friday morning at $3,575 per coin.