DAVOS, Switzerland — Bitcoin does nothing, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon mentioned Wednesday on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum.
“I call it the pet rock,” he added.
Dimon is a long-time bitcoin critic. The financial institution chief mentioned in 2021 at peak crypto valuations that bitcoin was “worthless,” and he doubled down on that sentiment final yr in Davos when he advised CNBC that the digital forex was a “hyped-up fraud.”
Bitcoin is buying and selling simply above $42,700, up greater than 100% within the final yr.
“This is the last time I’m talking about this with CNBC, so help me god,” Dimon mentioned. “Blockchain is real. It’s a technology. We use it. It’s going to move money, it’s going to move data. It’s efficient. We’ve been talking about that for 12 years, too, and it’s very small.”
“I think we waste too many words on that,” Dimon added.
The financial institution chief went on to differentiate bitcoin from the opposite class of cryptocurrencies, those by which blockchain has enabled using good contracts. Smart contracts are a programmable piece of code written on a public blockchain, akin to ethereum, which executes when sure circumstances are met, negating the necessity for a central middleman.
“There’s a cryptocurrency which might actually do something,” Dimon mentioned of good chain-enriched blockchains. “You can use it to buy and sell real estate and move data; tokenizing things that you do something with.
“And then there’s one which does nothing,” Dimon said of bitcoin, though he added that there were real use cases for the virtual coin, which included upwards of $100 billion a year caught up in fraud, tax avoidance and sex trafficking. “I defend your proper to do bitcoin,” Dimon added, saying, “I do not need to inform you what to do. So my private recommendation could be do not get entangled… But it is a free nation.”
The world’s largest cryptocurrency, with a market cap of over $830 billion, was cemented as an asset class last week when the SEC approved the creation of bitcoin exchange-traded funds.
Some of the biggest names in asset management, including BlackRock, Franklin Templeton and WisdomTree, have launched their own spot bitcoin ETFs last week. For the $30 trillion advised wealth management industry, the floodgates could be about to open. Analysts at Standard Chartered anticipate fund inflows in the range of $50 billion to $100 billion in 2024.
When asked what he made of Larry Fink changing his view on bitcoin as BlackRock jumped into the spot ETF business, Dimon said, “I do not care. So simply please cease speaking about this s***.”
“I do not know what he would say about blockchain versus currencies that do one thing versus bitcoin that does nothing,” Dimon added. “But you realize that is what makes a market. People have opinions, and that is the final time I’m ever going to state my opinion.”