JPMorgan Chase CEO blasts bitcoin as 'worthless', says it will be regulated

Jamie Dimon's stance has been blasted by cryptocurrency experts.
Jamie Dimon's stance has been blasted by cryptocurrency experts. Photo credit: Getty Images

The CEO of the US's largest bank says cryptocurrencies will be regulated by governments and thinks bitcoin is "worthless."

Jamie Dimon, head of JPMorgan Chase, told the virtual conference organised by the Institute of International Finance it was inevitable that governments were going to regulate cryptocurrencies to guard against money laundering and more.

Dimon has been a constant critic of digital currencies, once calling them a fraud.

"I personally think that bitcoin is worthless, but I don't want to be a spokesperson. I don't care," Dimon said.

However, his personal beliefs aren't enough to stop JPMorgan giving clients access to cryptocurrency funds.

Earlier this year the bank gave financial advisers the ability to accept buy and sell orders for five different cryptocurrencies.

"Our clients are adults. They disagree. That's what makes markets," he said.

"If they want to have access to buy or sell bitcoin we can't custody it, but we can give them legitimate, as clean as possible access."

Ryan Selkis, who founded cryptocurrency research, metrics and data firm Messari, took to Twitter to ridicule Dimon's stance.

He highlighted some of Dimon's previous bitcoin statements, including the prediction it “will not survive” and is "fool's gold", with a graph showing the growth in value from near zero to over US$57,000 today.

American stockbroker and financial commentator Peter Schiff backed Dimon's assessment of the cryptocurrency, but also took a dig.

"I agree with Dimon on this. He knows bitcoin is worthless but is happy to book bets for JP Morgan customers who don't realise it's worthless or don't care," he wrote.

"His attitude is if they don't lose their money at my casino they'll just lose it at someone else's. At least he's honest."

The New Zealand Government and the Reserve Bank are both looking at cryptocurrencies and the impact they can have on Aotearoa. 

In July Parliament's Finance and Expenditure Committee opened an inquiry into the nature, impact and risk of cryptocurrencies.

It is examining the nature and benefits of cryptocurrencies as well as the risks to both users and Aotearoa as a whole.

Meanwhile Te Pūtea Matua, The Reserve Bank of New Zealand, has opened up public feedback on the prospect of a central bank digital currency for Aotearoa.

The declining use, acceptance and availability of hard cash along with innovations like stablecoins make this an opportune time, the bank said.