By Jon Buck
In another statement that will certainly have cryptophiles fuming, Jamie Dimon, the erstwhile CEO of JP Morgan Chase Bank, was quoted in an interview in New Delhi India saying that cryptocurrencies ‘to me are worth nothing.’
Dimon was serious in his warning that as cryptocurrencies grow, governments will begin to control them, and will eventually ban them, throwing those who buy and sell them into prison. The commentary does not reflect the wider governmental acceptance of Bitcoin in the news but seems to be more in line with the Chinese government rhetoric.
Crypto or fiat ‘from thin air’
During the interview, when Dimon commented that cryptocurrencies are created ‘out of thin air’ with no value, the reporter tried to point out that the same can be said of fiat currencies. This is especially true in an inflationary economy like Venezuela, where cash is printed in massive volumes.
Dimon, however, was not to be gainsaid, and rapidly fired back that ‘legal tender’ means that ‘you have to take it.’ Dimon made it clear that dollars, for example, have value because they are backed by a government, as opposed to Bitcoin, which is backed by consensus among users, saying:
“Creating money out of thin air without government backing is very different from money with government backing.”
Apparently, however, Dimon does recognize that both dollars and Bitcoins are made out of thin air.
JP Morgan buys while CEO condemns
The comments follow his previous condemnation of Bitcoin as a ‘fraud’ which was met with some vitriol from the cryptocurrency community. One company has even filed a suit against Dimon for adverse business practice.
Ironically, however, after his initial comments, news spread that JP Morgan had purchased Bitcoin at the lowest point immediately after Dimon’s comments. Clearly, if governments are to ban the cryptocurrency, JP Morgan Chase itself would take a major hit.