JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon has famously been a vocal critic of Bitcoin, and in a recent CNBC interview from Davos, he declared that he was done talking about it. This is not the first time Dimon has expressed frustration with discussing the crypto currency, as he has been saying he will no longer talk about it since 2017.
During the interview, Dimon interrupted the CNBC host to say, “So this is an important thing, this is the last time I’m ever going to talk about this on CNBC – so help me God.” He then continued to criticize Bitcoin, calling it a “pet rock” and stating that it has no real use except for illegal activities such as money laundering, fraud, and tax avoidance.
While there is evidence to support Dimon’s claims, with the Government Accountability Office finding that many online sex websites accept digital currencies and the UN issuing warnings about crypto being used for money laundering, the market for cryptocurrencies has remained strong in recent years.
Despite Dimon’s objections to owning cryptocurrency himself, many retail investors own it. In fact, a study found that 36% of millennials and 20% of total adults own cryptocurrencies.
Dimon’s strong stance against Bitcoin is not new. Over the years, he has called people who invest in it “stupid” and threatened to fire any employee caught investing in it. However, other major financial firms like BlackRock and Goldman Sachs have changed their tune on crypto as it has become more popular and lucrative.
While Dimon’s stance on Bitcoin remains unchanged, other financial leaders, such as BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, have shifted their views. Fink, who was once a staunch Bitcoin critic, now believes it could become a global market. In fact, BlackRock owns the third most Bitcoins of any public company.
Fidelity, another major asset manager, has also embraced Bitcoin and began mining it in 2014. However, other competitors like State Street and Vanguard have chosen to stay away from the cryptocurrency, citing its lack of intrinsic economic value and cash flow.
Dimon also sought to differentiate between Bitcoin and blockchain, stating that while blockchain technology has its uses, it has been overhyped. He concluded the interview by saying, “It’s very small…I think we’ve wasted too many words on that.”