The Fintech Effect

Jamie Dimon told by top investor to 'come down to earth and learn' about cryptocurrencies

Key Points
  • Dimon has criticized cryptocurrencies as 'a novelty'
  • Wamda Capital CEO tells CNBC that Dimon needs to learn more
  • Bitcoin hits fresh record high over weekend
Investors could get hurt by bitcoin: Wamda Capital CEO

JPMorgan boss Jamie Dimon has been told to learn some more about cryptocurrencies before making negative statements.

In recent weeks Dimon has derided digital currencies such as bitcoin as a "novelty" and claimed they are "worth nothing."

Now the head of a major Middle East-based tech investment firm said Monday that the banking boss needs to better educate himself about blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

"It is here to stay. Jamie Dimon need to recognize that before he talks about it from a fraudulent point of view," said Fadi Ghandour, CEO of Wamda Capital.

Ghandour added that traditional financial industry stands to gain a lot from the new era of fintech.

"Talk to them, understand them, find a way to regulate them. Let's not make big statements about something we don't understand."

"Be humble, calm down, come down to earth and learn," the investor added.

Ghandour said the founder of the Middle East's biggest cryptocurrency, BitOasis, gave a speech at the World Bank last week in a further sign of how the technology is being embraced.

'People could get hurt'

Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, hit a new record high on Saturday, and has seen a huge price rally year.

On the risk of a sudden crash, Ghandour said people should be left to take their own investment decisions.

"People could get hurt but also people are mature and can make their own decisions. If you want to be part of a bubble, you are part of a bubble. You understand the risk," Ghandour said.

The tech investor noted that when Silicon Valley tech stocks crashed after a rapid rise in value in the late 1990's, no one questioned the internet as an essential future platform.

Ghandour said his own firm might consider using an initial coin offering (ICO) as a method to either invest or raise capital.

"As a venture capital fund I am worried that the way we conduct our own business is being disrupted.

"ICOs are something to learn about, to see how you can embrace it and so that you are becoming part of it rather than thinking of it as something that is going to disrupt us," he said.