Despite his best efforts, Jamie Dimon has never been one to mince words on the subject of cryptocurrency. So it shouldn’t be all that surprising that when confronted about his thoughts on Libra, the JPMorgan CEO threw some serious shade at Mark Zuckerberg’s pet blockchain.
Speaking on Tuesday, Dimon played down the threat from Libra, which has become the talk of the town on Wall Street and in Washington.
Everyone from Maxine Waters to Jerome Powell to Donald Trump has weighed in on the threat that it presents to the US dollar, and Facebook executive David Marcus faced a grilling about the company’s crypto ambitions when he testified before a US Senate subcommittee this morning. One pundit joked that the appropriate government response to a company launching its own international currency is to “nuke it from space.”
Dimon, in contrast, said that he “wouldn’t spend too much time on it” since its launch likely remains years away.
“To put it in perspective, we’ve been talking about blockchain for seven years and very little has happened,” Dimon said on the call, according to CNBC. “We’re going to be talking about Libra three years from now. I wouldn’t spend too much time on it.”
Of course, it might be worth taking Dimon’s Libra snub with a grain of salt. After all, JPMorgan is launching its own “cryptocurrency” – of sorts. The bank intends to deploy the asset, JPM Coin, on a privately-managed Ethereum-based blockchain.
While Jamie Dimon’s comment that “we’ve been talking about blockchain for seven years and very little has happened” is somewhat true – at least so far as enterprise adoption is concerned – it’s also tempting to view it as a subtle jab at bitcoin.
After all, the flagship cryptocurrency has experienced tremendous growth over that seven-year period – not to mention its decade-long lifespan. And not just when it comes to its price, which was less than $15 in 2012, by the way.
But at least Dimon’s latest rebuke is an improvement over calling it an outright scam.