This morning Jamie Dimon is eating his own words for breakfast. Calling bitcoin a “fraud” in a September interview with Fox Business network, he now says he regrets making such a comment. In fact, the JP Morgan Chase Chief Executive Officer went so far as to describe the immensely popular cryptocurrency as “worse than tulip bulbs,” threatening to fire any “stupid” trader who bought or sold them.
As a matter of fact, at the Institute of International Finance conference, in October, he responded to a moderator question with the warning: “If you’re stupid enough to buy it, you’ll pay the price for it one day.”
But this week, he is changing his tune; a little. In an exclusive interview with Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo, Dimon said, “The blockchain is real. You can have crypto yen and dollars and stuff like that. ICO’s you have to look at individually.”
The blockchain, of course, is the technology involved with verifying and recording all of the transactions; the heart of the cryptocurrency universe, essentially. Still, the 61-year old CEO argues that the government may soon intervene and that will certainly hinder not only bitcoin’s growth rate but also public acceptance. As such, he says—and despite bitcoin’s steadily-increasing value—he is still not interested.
He explains: “The bitcoin to me was always what the governments are gonna feel about bitcoin as it gets really big, and I just have a different opinion than other people. I’m not interested that much in the subject at all.”
Indeed, the value of all digital currencies has surged over the past year. Bitcoin, of course, is the most ubiquitous of these, with a value which has more than tripled since he made his original comment in September. While the digital currency has jumped more than 1,500 percent over the past 12 months, the price of bitcoin dipped 1.4 percent—down only to $14,760, on Tuesday—according to the most recent data.
It is important, then, to note that Dimon has reiterated that the believes in this technology, but “you have to look at individually” each of the initial coin offerings. Of course, this makes sense as JP Morgan Chase launched a blockchain-based system, in October, which the bank says will “significantly reduce” the number of parties required to verify global payments and will also reduce transaction times “from weeks to hours.”