JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon says Bitcoin is a ‘hyped-up scam’ and cryptocurrencies are a ‘waste of time’ – but blockchain is a ‘distributable’ technology

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon says Bitcoin is a ‘hyped-up scam’ and cryptocurrencies are a ‘waste of time’ – but blockchain is a ‘distributable’ technology

Despite the ongoing crypto winter, Bitcoin supporters are confident that the future of the new industry is bright. And so far this year, they have had reason to celebrate. Bitcoin’s price has jumped more than 25% in just the past few weeks after a bleak 2022. But JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon is still not a believer. At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Thursday, Dimon dismissed cryptocurrencies as a distraction.

“I think it’s all been a waste of time and why you’re wasting your breath on it is beyond me,” he said. CNBC. “Bitcoin itself is a hyped scam. It’s a pet rock.”

This is not the first time Dimon has expressed his doubts about cryptocurrencies – or used a “pet rock” analogy to describe digital assets. The CEO has described Bitcoin as a “fraud” since 2017; and after the implosion of what was once the world’s second-largest crypto exchange FTX late last year, he claimed the entire industry was a “complete sideshow.”

CNBC anchor Joe Kernen pushed back on Dimon’s claims that Bitcoin is a fraud on Thursday, arguing that the cryptocurrency is a “store of value” that is “immutable” and “scarce,” noting that the protocol indicates that there will only be 21 million coins. .

“Absolutely untrue. How do you know it’s going to stop at 21 million? Maybe it’s going to get to 21 million and Satoshi’s picture is going to come up and laugh at you all,” Dimon joked, referring to the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto used by Bitcoin’s anonymous creator, or creators.

But while Dimon doesn’t believe in cryptocurrencies, when it comes to the blockchain technology they’re built on, he has a much more positive outlook.

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“It’s different,” he said Thursday. “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 it’s a technology book that we think will could be distributed.”

Dimon and JPMorgan have been leaning into blockchain technology since 2017, when the bank was one of 86 firms that helped create an open-source blockchain initiative called The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance. And as Dimon mentioned above, the company uses its own cryptocurrency, JPM Coin, to execute intraday repurchase agreements. But on Thursday, Dimon noted that the financial industry has been talking about using blockchain technology for 12 years, and to this point, he said, “very little has been done.”

This story was originally featured on Fortune.com

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