On September 12 Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase - Co. (NYSE:JPM) Jamie Dimon said in an interview at a banking industry conference that cryptocurrency Bitcoin was a “fraud” that “would eventually blow up” and “won’t end well”. Dimon compared Bitcoin to the infamous “tulipmania” in the 17th century, when bulbs of tulips attracted speculators and reached incredibly high levels before crashing in 1637.
Dimon’s logic was that Bitcoin would eventually come into competition with central bank-backed currencies and be shut down by governments. He justified this by citing the recent moves of the Chinese government in closing down Bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchanges in the country. As of this writing on September 13 Bitcoin is down 7.53% on the day and has shed over $1000 from its all-time high. The largest cryptocurrency currently trading has had an incredibly run in 2017, more than quadrupling its value since January.
Dimon criticized Bitcoin in 2015 citing similar concerns, and he is not alone among those in big finance to cast a shadow on cryptocurrencies. He added a caveat to his recent criticism, advocating against shorting the cryptocurrency and stating that it could continue to climb to new highs.
What the speech does signal is critical for spectators and speculators interested in the cryptocurrency craze. The destabilizing potential of cryptocurrencies is attracting the attention of financial and big government establishments, which may put Bitcoin and others in the crosshairs of more countries in the near future.