Appearing at a CNBC/Institutional Investor Delivering Alpha conference in New York Tuesday, J.P Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon reiterated his view on cryptocurrencies in general, saying that “it’s not a real thing.” That came just moments after the CEO called Bitcoin a “fraud” at a Barclays event earlier in the day. Dimon insisted that world governments will eventually crack down on the digital currencies because cryptocurrency is suited for illicit use and/or transactions by those in sanctioned countries such as North Korea.
“If you’re in Venezuela or Ecuador or North Korea, you’re better off probably using Bitcoin than using their currency,” Dimon said. “That can’t possibly be true in the United States unless you’re speculating, and that isn’t a reason to say something has value. I’m not saying go short. … Bitcoin can go $100,000 a bitcoin before it goes down, so this is not advice on what to do. I refer to it like the tulip bulb crisis. … Eventually, it will be the emperor without clothes.”
This arrives as Bitcoin was reportedly banned by the Chinese government on cryptocurrency exchanges, plunging the digital currency down from its all-time high of roughly $5,000US. Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s September fund manager survey recently assessed that long bitcoin is the most crowded trade going. The cryptocurrency is up approximately 350 percent year to date, and since early September of this year alone, it has managed to gain $1,000, according to the researchers.
However, the JP Morgan CEO’s assertions seem to have done little to dissuade current bitcoin supporters. At that same conference venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya of the Social Capital refuted Dimon’s call on Bitcoin. The investor, who claims he has been “massively long” bitcoin since 2012-2013, insists that world governments would not be able to eliminate bitcoin because it is such a decentralized system and that eliminating bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies would require that governments convince every individual citizen using bitcoin that the currency is, in fact, worthless.
“The genie is out of the bottle,” Chamath Palihapitiya said.