If you’ve been living under a rock, maybe you haven’t heard that Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase, said that Bitcoin is “a fraud that will eventually blow up“.
My first thought on hearing this was to laugh. My second thought was to google the name of the the guy responsible for this magnificent quote, back in the day…
“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.”
Ken Olson is the person who said that. He said it in 1977. He was the founder of Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC). You may not know who DEC were, but once upon a time, they ruled the world of computing. Even as late as the 1990’s they were still a force to be reckoned with. The company was eventually acquired by Compaq, which is now buried inside HP.
Now to be fair to Ken, the personal computer didn’t exist, never mind a smartphone. Based on the data at hand, it wasn’t a crazy assertion. Mini computers were the bleeding edge of technology. They were large, temperamental and hideously expensive. The MITS Altair was shipping, but it was hardly mainstream.
In comparison, I’d say Mr. Dimon has a lot more data to consider. So what’s driving his opinion?
I have a few thoughts.
One of the promises of Blockchain, and one that Bitcoin is already demonstrating thousands of times a day, is that it can eliminate the need for a trusted third party to enable payments. Much of what JP Morgan Chase does can be automated away with Blockchain. Because of that, I’m guessing that doesn’t sit well with Mr. Dimon.
I’d be shocked if some JP Morgan Chase traders aren’t benefitting mightily from the volatility Mr. Dimon’s comments seemed to cause. If there’s one thing I think a company like that can be relied on, it’s a desire to make money.
First of all, Mr. Dimon has a history of railing against Bitcoin. He’s said similar things at least four times, going all the way back to 2014. The funny thing is that it usually goes up a little while after he makes his comments.
But did you know on the very day he was making these comments, the San Francisco office of JPMC was holding an all day Blockchain conference.
Did you know that JPMC was a founding member of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance? Ethereum is a competitor to Bitcoin…
In addition, JPMC has apparently also applied for a patent on a Bitcoin-like payment system. And that patent has been rejected 175 times.
Seems like a little sour grapes, or the boss doesn’t even know what his teams are doing. Just sayin’.
Finally, I’d like to give a shout-out to Adam Ghahramani who wrote this article: Why Bitcoin ‘crashes’ twice a week. It’s about the most thoughtful article on Bitcoin press coverage that I’ve seen to date.