Surprised by the sudden air pocket below bitcoin? Curious if this was caused by some new, unconfirmed Chinese crackdown on bitcoin traders, exchanges, and other money launderers?
No, the answer is Jamie Dimon, who in an angry outburst during the same conference in which he preannounced JPM’s 20% trading revenue drop, lashed out at the cryptocurrency, calling it a “fraud” which is “worse than tulip bulbs. It won’t end well”, will “blow up” and “someone is going to get killed.” Oh, and in conclusion, “any trader trading bitcoin” will be “fired for being stupid.“
- DIMON: BITCOIN IS A “FRAUD”; “WORSE THAN TULIP BULBS”
- DIMON: BITCOIN WILL EVENTUALLY BLOW UP
- DIMON: BITCOIN WON’T END WELL
- DIMON: WOULD FIRE ANY TRADER TRADING BITCOIN FOR BEING STUPID
So how does Jamie really feel?
Of course, if “a trader” bought $100,000 of Bitcoin in 2010, they’d be roughly 3x richer than billionaire Jamie, but that’s another story.
What is more surprising, is that bitcoin actually reacted to this angry outburst by the JPM CEO, sliding sharply, and dragging the entire cryptocurrency space with it.
Or perhaps not surprising at all as hundreds of JPM traders quietly liquidated their accounts moments after hearing Dimon’s threat…
Curiously, as Bitcoin sold off, gold finally saw a modest bid:
As for Dimon’s personal vendetta with the digital currency, one twitter commentator said it best:
BTC bulls: proof that “we” are a threat to the establishment + Gandhi quote
BTC bears: see? https://t.co/e2ZCmjKi3C
— Barbarian Capital (@BarbarianCap) September 12, 2017
What is ironic is that this is not the first time Jamie Dimon has lashed out at bitcoin: the last time Dimon slammed bitcoin was November 2015, at the Fortune Global Forum in San Francisco. Here’s what he had to say when asked directly about it by an audience member:
“You’re wasting your time with Bitcoin! Virtual currency, where it’s called a bitcoin vs. a U.S. dollar, that’s going to be stopped,” said Dimon. “No government will ever support a virtual currency that goes around borders and doesn’t have the same controls. It’s not going to happen.”
“Blockchain is like any other technology. If it is cheaper, effective, works, and secure, then we are going to use it. The technology will be used, and it could be used to transport currency, but it will be dollars, not bitcoins.”
Speaking to CNBC later in the day, Dimon said he’s skeptical governments will allow a currency to exist without state oversight: “Someone’s going to get killed and then the government’s going to come down,” he said. “You just saw in China, governments like to control their money supply.” And yet, despite said “killing” Bitcoin remained well above $4,000.
That said, Dimon conceded that he wouldn’t short bitcoin because there’s no telling how high it will go before it collapses, saying that it “could hit $100,000 before it drops.” The best argument Dimon has heard about owning bitcoin, is that it can be useful to people in places with no other options: “If you were in Venezuela or Ecuador or North Korea or a bunch of parts like that, or if you were a drug dealer, a murderer, stuff like that, you are better off doing it in bitcoin than U.S. dollars,” he said. “So there may be a market for that, but it’d be a limited market.”
What is also ironic is Dimon’s admission that his daughter purchased some bitcoin, saying “it went up and she thinks she is a genius.”
And to think the Fed didn’t even have to inject $4 trillion in liquidity to make her feel that way, unlike so many stock “investors.”
Shortly after Dimon’s comment, the chairman and CEO of the CBOE, Ed Tilly – which plans to offer bitcoin futures soon – defended the cryptocurrency after Dimon’s remarks.
“Like it or not, people want exposure to bitcoin,” Tilly said. Believers can bet on its rise, and Dimon is welcome to take the other side, he said. “We’re happy to be the ones in the middle.”
* * *
Incidentally, for those who “wasted their time” since Dimon’s 2015 threat, Bitcoin is up 1,018%.