It appears that one of the most prominent bitcoin skeptics may be changing his tune.
Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase & Co.
has continually poured cold water on the No. 1 digital currency, calling it a terrible store of value, a bubble and a fraud. But now, following counterpart Goldman Sachs Group
it appears the U.S. banking giant is dipping its toes in the digital-currency water.
The Financial News reported Thursday that JPMorgan had made a personnel shift, and Oliver Harris will move into a role that will examine the use of digital currencies for the bank.
The move would be a stark turnaround for Dimon, who for more than four years has turned his nose up at the idea of cryptocurrencies playing a role in mainstream financial markets.
It began as early as January 2014, when he said bitcoin was “a terrible store of value” and from there, as the price of bitcoin
soared, his remarks got more scathing.
In November 2015, Dimon said bitcoin wouldn’t survive, and less than three months later he said it is “going nowhere.” Then in September 2017, when the price of bitcoin was above $4,000, more than 400% higher than when he first chimed in, Dimon piled on the heat.
‘It is a fraud…It’s worse than tulip bulbs. It won’t end well. Someone is going to get killed’
Dimon has been the biggest skeptic of all the heads of major banks. Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO of Goldman Sachs, which recently announced it was opening a cryptocurrency trading desk, has remained coy, saying he doesn’t have an investment in bitcoin but is “not willing to pooh-pooh it.”
Still thinking about #Bitcoin. No conclusion – not endorsing/rejecting. Know that folks also were skeptical when paper money displaced gold.
— Lloyd Blankfein (@lloydblankfein) October 3, 2017
Should Dimon pull a 180 and begin trading cryptocurrencies, he may have to update the bank’s code-of-conduct manual. “I would fire them in a second, for two reasons: It is against our rules and they are stupid, and both are dangerous,” Dimon said in 2017, referring to any employees caught trading bitcoin.