Published: Thu, January 11, 2018
Technology | By Russell Knight

JP Morgan Chase CEO Says He Regrets Calling Bitcoin a Fraud

JP Morgan Chase CEO Says He Regrets Calling Bitcoin a Fraud

Bitcoin was lower in Tuesday trading, but at least JPMorgan Chase (JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon has - for a moment, maybe - mellowed out on the cryptocurrency.

But he reiterated his view that blockchain, the record-keeping technology behind Bitcoin, is "real".

"The bitcoin to me was always [about] what the governments are going to feel about bitcoin as it gets really big", he said. He said that initial coin offerings - a form of cryptocurrency fundraising used by many blockchain startups - had to be looked at "individually". In September, Dimon denounced the bitcoin cryptocurrency as a fraud, and said it was bound to fail.

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Bitcoin was rising then, valued between $3,500 to $4,500 in September 2017 - but its value exploded in October, skyrocketing up to and all time peak of nearly $20,000 in December. On Tuesday, the bitcoin's price closed at $14,595 after moving in the range of $15,498 and $14,424 during the day.

The amusing part of about this new statement is that it was accompanied by several more veiled expressions of dislike for bitcoin, such as saying he is "not interested in the subject at all".

Dimon also praised the new tax code passed by Congress in December, which saw the corporate tax rate slashed from 35 percent to 21 percent alongside other reforms. Dimon labelled Bitcoin a "fraud", threatened to fire any JPMorgan employees found trading it, and predicted that governments were going to "crush" Bitcoin. Dozens of USA banks already boasting record profits have promised bonuses, raises or additional benefits for employees to be funded with savings from the new tax rate.

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"I think one of the mistakes that people make is [focusing on] what's the impact tomorrow", Dimon said. He now is a member of Trump's business forum, which advises the president on economic issues.

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