JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon ridiculed cryptos as a “complete sideshow” that are useless as “pet rocks” while bashing regulators for beating up on big banks instead of focusing on the growing crypto industry.
CNBC “Squawk Box” co-host, Andrew Ross Sorkin asked Dimon if he agreed with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s assessment regarding the collapse of FTX as the “Lehman moment within crypto.”
“I think crypto is a complete sideshow. You guys spend too much time on it and I’ve made my views perfectly clear. Crypto tokens are like pet rocks and people are hyping this stuff up,” Dimon said during an interview Tuesday morning.
The term “pet rocks” was used by market investors in the 1970s to criticize gold, a commodity traded asset.
Dimon raised concerns about the dark side of the crypto industry, pointing to billions involved that use cryptocurrencies and were plagued with corruption and enabling illicit activities including money laundering, terrorism financing, tax avoidance, and sex trafficking.
“The other thing the American public should look at when we look at crypto if we look at all the buying and selling,” Dimon said. “So if bitcoin is worth like under a trillion dollars today, and we’re not even sure that is a real market, by the way, that $20 to $30 billion of ransomware that we know about, $20 to $30 million of exchange costs that we know about, lots of AML, terrorism financing, tax avoidance, sex trafficking.”
The JP Morgan boss also slammed regulators for beating up on big banks instead of focusing on the growing crypto industry.
“Why do we allow this stuff to take place?” Dimon questioned. “I think the regulators that have beat up on banks should maybe focus a little more on crypto.”
Dimon is a vocal critic of cryptocurrencies and has a long history of repeatedly denigrating digital assets. In September, Dimon who refuses to use the word currency when it comes to cryptocurrencies referred to crypto tokens as a “decentralized Ponzi scheme” to lawmakers and took pride in calling himself a “major skeptic on crypto tokens.”
“I’m a major skeptic on crypto tokens, which you call currency, like Bitcoin,” Dimon said in response to Rep. Josh Gottheimer’s question. “They are decentralized Ponzi schemes and the notion that’s good for anybody is unbelievable.”
During last year when epic crypto bull run, when Bitcoin was approaching an all-time high of almost $60,000, Dimon slammed Bitcoin as “worthless.” As of Wednesday morning, Bitcoin was trading at around $15,000, losing more than 60% of its value in 2o22.
Despite Dimon’s being one of the most outspoken critics of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, JP Morgan has been offering all of its clients’ access to crypto investment funds. The move puts JP Morgan as the first largest bank to expand crypto trading access. Last month, JP Morgan executed its first cross-border transaction pilot program live trade on a public blockchain, Polygon.Andrew Ross SorkinBitcoinCNBCCryptoCrypto ReportCryptocurrencyFTXFTX CollapseJanet YellenJP MorganSquawk Box