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Here He Goes Again – Bitcoin is ‘Hyped-Up Fraud’ Says JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon, But Blockchain is ‘Deployable’

Trent Alan
Last updated: | 3 min read
Ting Shen—Bloomberg/Getty Images

Despite the ongoing challenges in the cryptocurrency market, enthusiasts of digital assets are convinced that the future is bright for the sector. Recently, the value of Bitcoin has shown signs of resurgence with a notable hike in its price over the past few weeks, following a difficult start to 2023.

But not everyone holds this same positive outlook, including the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, Jamie Dimon. At a recent interview at the World Economic Forum (WEF) with CNBC, he made harsh public statements on his perspective of Bitcoin and the crypto industry.

“I think all that is a waste of time, and why you guys waste any breath on it is beyond me,” said Dimon in the interview on the sidelines of the WEF. “Bitcoin itself is a hyped-up fraud. It’s a pet rock.”

This is not the first time Dimon has publicly shared his skepticism towards the crypto industry. He has been vocal about his negative views on digital assets since 2017, when he first referred to Bitcoin as a “fraud.”

After the downfall of the once second-largest crypto exchange, FTX, last year, he argued that the entire crypto industry is a “complete sideshow.”

Some have presented counterarguments to Dimon’s statements, including CNBC anchor Joe Kernen, who challenged Dimon’s assertions during the interview.

Kernen argued that Bitcoin serves as a “store of value” and is “immutable” and “scarce”, citing the protocol of the cryptocurrency that limits the number of coins to 21 million.

In response, Dimon quipped, “How do you know it’s going to stop at 21 million? Well, maybe it’s going to get to 21 million and [bitcoin’s mysterious founder] Satoshi’s picture is going to come up and laugh at you all.”

Despite these opposing views, it’s worth noting that while Dimon may not believe in the potential of cryptocurrencies, he recognizes the value of the blockchain technology that they are built on.

During the same interview, he stated that, “Blockchain is a technology ledger system that we use to move information. We’ve used it to do overnight repo, intraday repo, we’ve used it to move money, right? So that’s a technology ledger that we think will be deployable.”

Indeed, JPMorgan has been investing in blockchain technology since 2017, when the bank participated in creating an open-source blockchain initiative called The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance.

The company also uses its own cryptocurrency, the JPM Coin, to execute intraday repurchase agreements. However, Dimon also mentioned that the financial industry has been discussing the use of blockchain technology for 12 years, and in his opinion, “very little has been done” in terms of implementation.

Many in the crypto community took to Twitter after the interview to criticize Dimon’s view, including popular crypto figure and podcaster Peter McCormack, who wrote in a Twitter post: “As JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon calls #bitcoin a ‘hyped-up fraud’ lets not forget that JPMorgan paid $2.6bn for their role in the Madoff fraud, the largest Ponzi Scheme in history. Bernie Madoff was able to launder billions of dollars through PMorgan.”

Others made fun of Dimon’s lack of understanding of open source code, noting that it’s quite easy to see that no shady scenarios could play out with Bitcoin, such as more than 21 million coins being created.

“How do you know it ends at 21M?” – well Jamie, you see it’s in the code. The code is open source fully transparent … and if you wanted to change the 21M you’d need consensus or else it would hard fork,” one Twitter user responded.