JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon’s recent attack on Bitcoin, which saw it slump in time with the Bitcoin exchanges banning announcements from China, is starting to unravel.
Dimon called Bitcoin a ‘fraud’ and said if he caught anyone trading it they would be fired from his company. However, it has since emerged that there’s a lot of hypocrisy and conflict of interest in these statements.
JPMorgan has already shown that it does indeed have an interest in cryptocurrency and Blockchain technology, as at the same time this attack was being waged by its boss, it was also advertising for Blockchain professionals.
To go along with this confusing approach to cryptocurrencies and Blockchain technology, it has emerged that Bart Stephens, a tech VC, and co-founder and managing partner of San Francisco-based venture capital firm Blockchain Capital, was invited to give a talk at JPMorgan, San Francisco.
“While Jamie Dimon was making those comments, I was an invited speaker at JP Morgan's offices in San Francisco to give a talk with other fund managers and clients of JP Morgan who are really curious about cryptocurrencies and the underlying Blockchain technology," says Stephens. "So there's a lot of hypocrisy going on with Jamie Dimon,"
Stephens says that Dimon's comments discounting the significance of Bitcoin were reflective of his lack of understanding of the technology's potential.
Many have speculated that Dimon’s comments were a ploy to try and affect the market price of Bitcoin, however, that’s impossible to prove. The amount of confusion and hypocrisy coming from JPMorgan however does make one wonder.
Stephens is still of the opinion that Dimon is simply being ignorant:
"The Blockchain and cryptocurrencies have elicited an emotional response from financial incumbents. The technology is controversial and misunderstood, but that doesn't make it any less real," he said.
"I would encourage Jamie Dimon and others to do some homework first. It is not a fraud. It is not a Ponzi scheme. It's a robust technology that is going to impact multiple industries. Don't discount it."