Belfast Telegraph

High-profile Wall Street critic of Bitcoin 'regrets' attack

By Kalyeena Makortoff

JP Morgan chief executive Jamie Dimon has backtracked on criticism of Bitcoin, saying he regrets calling the cryptocurrency a "fraud".

The Wall Street boss was one of the most high-profile critics of the digital currency, having said last autumn that he would fire employees found to be trading in the digital currency for being "stupid".

But when asked to address the topic, Mr Dimon said those were comments "which I regret making".

Mr Dimon admitted that elements of Bitcoin-related technology warranted attention, such as distributed ledger technology or the blockchain, which is seen as an opportunity for financial services to strip costs, speed up transactions and serve as a central ledger to track and verify transactions that cuts out the industry's middlemen.

"The blockchain is real," he told Fox Business yesterday.

"You can have crypto yen and dollars and stuff like that. ICOs you have to look at individually," he added referring to Initial Coin Offerings which allow investors to exchange cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin for proprietary "coins" or "tokens" linked to a specific firm or project.

"The Bitcoin to me was always what the governments are gonna feel about Bitcoin as it gets really big, and I just have a different opinion than other people," the JP Morgan CEO said.

"I'm not interested that much in the subject at all."

But Bitcoin was unmoved by the admission and was trading lower by 4.2% at $14,330.10, according to prices listed by Coindesk yesterday afternoon.

The cryptocurrency has fallen from its most recent peak in mid-December when it touched nearly $20,000 on some exchanges, though is still up significantly from the $900 mark it was sitting at one year ago in January 2017.

Its prices were buoyed by the launch of bitcoin futures by both the CME and CBOE last month.

Belfast Telegraph

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