JP Morgan CFO dials back Dimon’s bitcoin criticism

Reuters reports on JP Morgan’s CFO countering CEO Jamie Dimon’s recent bitcoin negativity…

We are very open minded to the potential use cases in future for digital currencies that are properly controlled and regulated,” Chief Financial Officer Marianne Lake said during a call with reporters to discuss the bank’s third quarter earnings.

Lake also said the bank is “very optimistic” about some of the technology that underlies bitcoin and other digital currencies, a view echoed by Citigroup Inc (C.N) CFO John Gerspach on that bank’s earnings call with reporters, also on Thursday.

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Jamie Dimon Is Afraid Bitcoin, Crypto And Blockchain Tech Will Take His Job

Interesting article over at contextualising Jamie Dimon’s recent Bitcoin pronouncements. And JP Morgan’s interest in Bitcoin.

Venture capital was set ablaze by blockchain tech and crypto. Banking is next and the people in charge are scared.

Dimon’s comments sent a lot of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency holders into a bit of a temporary panic.

What’s playing out here is a classic David vs. Goliath story (with a lot of attention seeking behavior from Dimon.)

For perspective, cryptocurrency ICOs (through Ethereum which Dimon did not mention) have recently set the venture capital industry ablaze. Bitcoin along other various cryptocurrencies and blockchain projects like Ripple are now gunning for banking.

Bitcoin is essentially an alternate way to store wealth. Bitcoin or a predecesor could one day entirely remove the need for banks. Banks understandly do not like it and are clearly not embracing it yet. Dimon, is the CEO of one of the biggest banks in the world. I’ll let you draw your own conclusion if you think that creates a bias and self fulfilling prophecy for him to “trash the competition” by calling it a fraud, without explanation.

Upon further investigation, I found out that JPMorgan itself had filed (175 times) for a “Bitcoin-Alternative” patent. It did not get the patent.

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JP Morgan boss: Bitcoin is a fraud that will blow up?

The Guardian reports on JP Morgan’s boss’ claim that cryptocurrency is only fit for use by drug dealers, murderers and people living in North Korea. Meanwhile,  Financial News from London provides a helpful counter view.

Bitcoin is a fraud that will ultimately blow up, according to JP Morgan boss Jamie Dimon, who said the digital currency was only fit for use by drug dealers, murderers and people living in places such as North Korea.

Speaking at a conference in New York, the boss of America’s biggest bank said he would fire “in a second” anyone at the investment bank found to be trading in bitcoin. “For two reasons: it’s against our rules, and they’re stupid. And both are dangerous.”


In a article, key industry thought leaders provide some useful context…

But ambassadors for the global fintech industry have dismissed these claims as “naive”, “not smart” and “a long way from reality” and argued that digital currencies have the potential to provide “huge upside” for banks.

Chris Skinner, global ambassador for London-based fintech trade body Innovate Finance, said: “The banking industry has gone through the fear, denial and grief of bitcoin. It has died a thousand deaths, according to experts, and yet it still keeps going.

“The reason is that we need a cryptocurrency that can operate globally in the digital age. That currency may or may not be bitcoin, but to decry it as something just for criminals is naive.”

Simon Taylor, a former Barclays innovation executive who now runs consultancy firm 11FS, said: “The C-suite banker perception of the tech and its currencies are a long way from the reality. There is definitely a huge upside for banks here if they take the time to really really understand it. Innovation always starts at the fringes. To make such dismissive statements publicly is not smart.”

Oliver Bussmann, the former chief information officer at UBS and president of the Crypto Valley Association, expressed surprise at Dimon’s comments. He said: “It’s hard to know what his motivation is. Maybe he has further insights on the dark side of cryptocurrencies and illegal money flows from Russia or China.”