Jamie Dimon blasted cryptocurrencies as inferior to traditional assets, warned people against buying them, and urged regulators to scrutinize them more closely at a congressional hearing this week.
“Something that’s not supported by anything, I do not believe has much value,” the JPMorgan CEO said. Blockchain and stablecoins aren’t in that camp, and his opinion doesn’t dictate whether his company embraces crypto, he added.
“My own personal advice to people is stay away from it,” Dimon said. “That does not mean the clients don’t want it – this goes back to how you have to run a business. I don’t smoke marijuana, but if you make it nationally legal, I’m not gonna stop our people from banking it.”
JPMorgan is exploring ways to allow clients to buy and sell crypto and have it appear on their statements, the bank’s chief said. However, he reiterated his view that crypto pales in comparison to conventional assets, and carries a lot more risk.
“It’s nothing like a fiat currency, it’s nothing like gold,” Dimon said. “Buyer beware.”
The executive also bemoaned the lack of rules in the crypto space, which he described as a “serious emerging issue” in his latest shareholder letter.
“The regulators who are a day late and a dollar short should be paying a lot more attention,” he said, highlighting crypto, payment for order flow, and high-frequency trading as areas of concern.
Bitcoin surged in price from under $10,000 a year ago to north of $60,000 in April, and continues to trade at north of $30,000. Dimon said he wasn’t a fan of the coin earlier this month, and has dismissed it as fraudulent and dangerous in the past.
“It’s worse than tulip bulbs,” he said in 2017. “It won’t end well. Someone is going to get killed.”