Jamie Dimon is still a bitcoin skeptic. When asked if his views about the original cryptocurrency have changed, the CEO and chairman of JPMorgan Chase reiterated his long-held belief that bitcoin has no intrinsic value. The digital asset has proven resilient, surging even after China banned its use last month. "I personally think that bitcoin is worthless," Dimon said Monday at a conference held by the Institute of International Finance. "But I don't want to be a spokesman for that, I don't care. It makes no difference to me. I don't think you should smoke cigarettes, either." He then drew a line from his own views and that of JPMorgan, the biggest U.S. bank by assets and a behemoth of traditional finance from retail checking accounts to Wall Street activities. Earlier this year, JPMorgan's wealth management division quietly added a half dozen bitcoin investment vehicles to the bank's offerings. "Our clients are adults, they disagree," Dimon said. "So if they want to have access to buy or sell bitcoin, we can't custody it, but we can give them legitimate, as clean as possible, access." Dimon, who often makes news for his views on all things financial, has held a dim opinion of bitcoin since at least 2017, when he called it a fraud that would eventually implode. After lean years called "crypto winter," bitcoin has surged during the global coronavirus pandemic with a new thesis: it's now seen as an inflation hedge. In fact, JPMorgan research analysts said last week that some institutional investors have that belief. One of the key elements of this "digital gold" thesis is that bitcoin supposedly has an eventual supply cap at 21 million coins. On Monday, Dimon cast doubt on that limitation. "How do you know it ends at 21 million?" Dimon said. "Did you all read the algorithms? You guys all believe that? I've always been a skeptic about stuff like that so someone will have to prove it to me."
Jamie Dimon, CEO, JP Morgan Chase, speaking at the Business Roundtable CEO Innovation Summit, December 6, 2018.
Janhvi Bhojwani | CNBC
Jamie Dimon is still a bitcoin skeptic.