One of Wall Street’s most influential bankers does not believe bitcoin should be illegal while adding that the cryptocurrency is “more than just a fad.”
Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman was speaking at the ‘Wall Street Journal Future of Finance’ event when an audience member sought his opinions on cryptocurrencies.
It’s a fascinating development, that’s certainly something more than just a fad. The concept of ‘anonymous currency’ is a very interesting concept. Interesting for the privacy protections it gives people…interesting because what does it say to the central banking system…about controlling that.
Contrary to some of his Wall Street counterparts, Gorman’s comments on cryptocurrencies struck a measured tone.
The banking executive gave equal footing to both cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and the banking sector, both of which are ultimately under the purview of governments, according to him.
None of us operate in isolation from the ecosystem in which we live. If banks behave badly, the government says ‘Raise more capital.’ We say ‘Gee, that makes us less profitable.’ They say “That is now your problem”…If a currency is operating that is enabling people to transfer money anonymously, a government can say “We are not going to allow that anymore.” So there is a government risk factor to it.
When asked by the moderator if bitcoin should be ‘illegal’ Gorman replied: “No, I don’t.”
Gorman further revealed that while he wasn’t personally invested in bitcoin, he has met a number of people who are investors in the cryptocurrency market
I haven’t invested in this, I’ve talked to a lot of people who have. It’s obviously highly speculative but, it’s not something that’s inherently bad. It’s a natural consequence of blockchain technology, as I understand it.
Featured of Jamie Dimon and James Gorman from Flickr/Financial Times.