Jamie Dimon appears to have one major resolution to kick off 2018: refrain from bashing bitcoin.
The JPMorgan Chase & Co. JPM, +1.10% boss on Tuesday told Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo that “bitcoin is real”, a rare admission for one of the growing assets staunchest detractors.
The well-respected bank boss goes one step further, saying that he harbors “regret” about classifying the nascent digital currency a “fraud.” Bitcoin has skyrocketed in value over the past several months, rising more than 1,300% in 2017 alone, and hitting a top near $20,000 last December, before falling back in recent trade, according to research and data site CoinDesk.com.
By comparison, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.07% the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.11% and the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -0.14% scored returns between 20% to 30% in 2017—an otherwise stellar return when not compared with bitcoin.
For blockchain enthusiasts—that is, those who support the distributed-ledger technology that underpins digital currencies, Dimon has been one of the most ardent critics of the hype and bluster surrounding its elevation in to the mainstream.
Back in September, during a banking conference, Dimon not only called bitcoin “a fraud”, he said “bitcoin will eventually blow up” He said “it’s worse than tulip bulbs and won’t end well,” Dimon said.
To be sure, it isn’t the first time that Dimon has taken his shots at bitcoin, which was created in 2009 by an individual or group going by the name Satoshi Nakamoto. Back as early as 2013, he described the cryptographic currency as a “terrible store of value.”
However, Dimon’s remarks, albeit justified given fears about the bubblicious nature of bitcoin and its brethren, haven’t truly dented enthusiasm for cryptos, even if bitcoin has taken a pause since last month’s record. To boot, there are a host of other cryptocurrencies, including Ripple Labs’s $XRP coins, Ethereum’s Ether coins and thousands more that are threatening to hit a combined $1 trillion in value, according to CoinMarketCap.com.
That is nothing to sneeze at, even for Dimon.