JPMorgan Chase CEO Not Taking Any Pleasure at Seeing Bitcoin's 80% Price Drop

On Wednesday (January 23rd), day two of Davos 2019, this year's World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, Jamie Dimon, the Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, said in an interview on CNBC's pre-market morning show "Squawk Box" that he took no satisfaction in seeing the price of Bitcoin (BTC) fall around 80% from its all-time high reached in December 2017.

In case you have not heard what the JPMorgan CEO has said in the past about cryptocurrency in general and Bitcoin in particular, or you have forgotten, here are a few highlights.

  • According to Bloomberg, on 13 September 2017, an investor conference in New York, he called Bitcoin "a fraud", saying that it was “worse than tulip bulbs." And if a JPMorgan trader began trading in Bitcoin, he said: “I’d fire them in a second. For two reasons: It’s against our rules, and they’re stupid. And both are dangerous.” He didn't stop there, going on to say: "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. So there may be a market for that, but it’d be a limited market.”
  • On January 2018, in an interview with FOX Business's Maria Bartiromo, said that he regretted his previous comments about Bitcoin, and expressed his faith in blockchain technology: "The blockchain is real. You can have crypto yen and dollars and stuff like that. ICO's you have to look at individually. The bitcoin to me was always what the governments are gonna feel about bitcoin as it gets really big, and I just have a different opinion than other people. I'm not interested that much in the subject at all.”
  • In an interview with the Harvard Business Review (July–August 2018 Issue), here is what he had to say about crypto: "I probably shouldn’t say any more about cryptocurrency. But it’s not the same as gold or fiat currencies. Those are supported by law, police, courts. They’re not replicable, and there are strictures on them. Blockchain, on the other hand, is real. We’re testing it and will use it for a whole lot of things."

Near the end of yesterday's interview on "Squawk Box" (which on this occassion was broadcast from Davos instead of New York), co-anchor Joe Kernen asked the JPMorgan CEO the following question:

"Did you take any satisfaction when Bitcoin dropped 80%?"

Dimon answered no, and criticized CNBC for hyping Bitcoin during the 2017 bull run:

"No. Listen, you guys... you actually put it on CNBC every day for a year... 'Bitcoin Bitcoin Bitcoin'... You should stop doing that..."

He had, rather unsurprisingly, nicer words to say about blockchain technology, but even here, he was cautious:

"But we're using blockchain. That's a completely different technology. But even that, we have been talking about it year after year for seven years, and nobody has effectively done something... Blockchain is really just a database we can all access... and it's kept up to date. And it may be usable for certain things, but not for others. It does cost money to maintain, to process a transaction... For a blockchain use case, you have to write the code, we have to agree on the protocols, it's a lot of work to do something."

 

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