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Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan, got quite ruffled when presented with some facts on Bitcoin.
The CEO of the biggest bank in the US and arguably the biggest in the world, Jamie Dimon has never lacked epithets to describe Bitcoin. Over the years the name-calling has continued apace.
Earlier today, Dimon was interviewed by CNBC as he attended the World Economic Forum at Davos in Switzerland. Possibly one of the most influential figures in modern finance, Dimon was in his element as he discussed everything from negative rates to geopolitical conflicts and economic forecasts.
Dimon becomes agitated
However, when one of the CNBC interview team brought up the question of Bitcoin, Dimon started to get visibly agitated and seemed a little flustered.
“I think all that’s been a waste of time and why you guys waste any breath on this is totally beyond me.”
The interviewer said it’s “because you think Bitcoin is going to zero and it’s fake”.
Dimon responded: “Bitcoin itself is a hyped-up fake - a pet rock.”
He was then asked what he made of Black Rock and other firms that were investing in infrastructure. Dimon cut the interviewer short and said “That’s different”. He went on to explain that “Blockchain is a technology ledger system” and said that JP Morgan used it for “intraday repo” and also to “move money”.
One of the other interviewers responded that Bitcoin is also a distributed ledger, and it “has all the characteristics of a store of value. It’s immutable, it’s scarce.”
Dimon cut in there and said “totally untrue”.
The interviewer flashed back and said that Bitcoin is limited to “21 million”.
Dimon then sallied back with “How do you know it’s going to stop at 21 million?”
The interviewer started to explain how Satoshi Nakamoto, the inventor of Bitcoin had limited the issue to 21 million bitcoins in the code, but Dimon rode over the top of him saying:
“Well maybe it’s going to get to 21 million and Satoshi’s picture’s going to come up and laugh at you all.” He then ended with: “And then Satoshi will take it out and use it to buy dollars.”
Commentators have pointed to the oft-quoted saying, that some have attributed to Gandhi:
“First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they attack you. Then you win.”
In relation to Bitcoin, it might appear that we are in the “attack” phase. As CEO of the biggest bank in the world, Dimon and his bank are obviously threatened by Bitcoin. Should Bitcoin grow to become universally accepted, this is likely to see Dimon and JP Morgan lose their domination over the financial system.
A decentralised distributed ledger system that allows anyone to transact with anyone, without any banks, governments, or any other third party getting involved is going to be quite appealing to say the least.
It might be wondered how Dimon, his bank, and its legions of employees will be able to compete?
Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.