By CCN.com: JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon became the undisputed captain of the bitcoin-bashing brigade in 2017 when he said that the white-hot cryptocurrency was a “fraud” that would eventually crash to zero. Now that the cryptocurrency market bubble has popped, though, he said that he doesn’t want to gloat.
Speaking on sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Dimon told CNBC that he “didn’t take any” joy in the fact that the bitcoin price, which once broached $20,000, has dropped 82 percent from its all-time high to a present level of $3,572.
Even so, Dimon couldn’t resist taking another swipe at bitcoin, if only indirectly, by praising blockchain, which he says is a “real technology.”
“Blockchain is a real technology — it’s just a database we can all access that’s kept up-to-date,” he said, adding that the media was partially to blame for all the hype surrounding cryptocurrencies.
“You actually put it [bitcoin] on CNBC every day for a year,” he added while pointing his finger at the Squawk Box panel (video above, remarks start around 15:35). “You should stop doing that.”
In the past, of course, Dimon had been far more verbose in his disdain for cryptocurrencies. In addition to calling bitcoin a fraud, he derided crypto investors as “stupid,” not even excluding his own daughter — herself a crypto investor — from this category.
In one particularly memorable tirade (video above), Dimon said that those investors would “pay the price” when governments decided to “crush” the nascent asset class.
I could care less what bitcoin trades for, how it trades, why it trades, who trades it. If you’re stupid enough to buy it, you’ll pay the price for it one day. I’ve also told people that it can trade at $100,000 before it trades to zero. Tulip bulbs traded for $75,000 or something like that.
For now, it seems, Dimon retains the high ground in his war of words with the cryptocurrency faithful. However, while the bitcoin price has taken a steep hit since its late 2017 peak, it hasn’t crashed to zero. And there are signs that the market may be on the verge of turning a corner.
Could the ball be back in Dimon’s court soon?
Jamie Dimon Image from REUTERS / Mike Blake