Bitcoin, which currently is the most popular cryptocurrency in the world, isn’t much popular with JP Morgan boss Jamie Dimon. According to the head of the leading global financial services firm and one of the largest banking institutions in the United States, Bitcoin is actually a fraud that will ultimately blow up.
Speaking at a conference in New York, he further added, that the digital currency is only meant to be used by drug dealers, murderers and people living in places such as North Korea.
It was in mid 2008 that bitcoin first came into our lives. Ever since its debut, a lot has been said about the digital currency that can be traded for services or goods with sellers who accept bitcoins as payment. Even though some consider bitcoin as one of the most volatile currencies in the world, it still continues to do more than 100,000 transactions per day. According to experts, this figure is only going to ballon up in the near future with the massive innovation being fed into the field, courtesy bitcoin’s underlying technology, the blockchain
However, Dimon doesn’t want to do anything with anyone that makes use of the digital currency. According to him, he would take just a second to fire anyone found using bitcoin at his investment bank “For two reasons: it’s against our rules, and they’re stupid. And both are dangerous.”
For the uninitiated, Bitcoin is the first, and currently the biggest digital currency- a decentralised tradable digital asset. The currency is only good enough to be used as a medium of exchange, because of which the currency has witnessed more usage for bad activities like money fraud, terrorism etc. has been more than for legit purposes.
What makes bitcoin such a shiny possession in the big, bad dark world is the fact that there’s no central authority, censorship, or regulation hovering over the transactions being made using the digital currency. The best part they find about the currency is that it is almost impossible to trace a bitcoin transaction back to a physical person. It offers them an anonymity that no other currency in the world provides.
Though Dimon doesn’t approve of the currency, he does believe that there’s a market for it, but it is a limited one. According to him, “If you were in Venezuela or Ecuador or North Korea or a bunch of parts like that, or if you were a drug dealer, a murderer, stuff like that, you are better off doing it in bitcoin than US dollars.”
But, Dimon’s opinion might not be entirely true. Recently, Lady Mone, co-founder of the underwear brand Ultimo, launched a major property development in Dubai, priced in bitcoins. Launching the project, she said saying that the digital currency is a growing market that cannot be ignored. On the same lines, a London property developer is allowing its tenants to pay their deposits in bitcoin – the first time digital currency is being put to use in residential sector in the UK.
Dimon’s harsh comments on bitcoin came at a time when the UK financial regulator had just issued a warning against a speculative frenzy in initial coin offerings (ICOs), wherein internet startups are being funded by investors using digital currencies such as bitcoin.
However, Yann Quelenn, an analyst at the online bank Swissquote in a statement to The Guardian ensured that bitcoin still has great potential.
According to him, digital currencies can be considered as a new asset class, which is at war with fiat money. Central banks all around the world wanting to preserve their monopoly over money, don’t want to fully embrace cyrptocurrencies.
Explaining about Bitcoin still has a lot of potential to explore, Quelenn added that currently, fewer than 0.01 per cent of the world’s population has a bitcoin wallet. If this would reach 1 per cent, the demand for bitcoin would reach insane levels, because there are only 18m bitcoins available.
While the criticism and appreciation of the currency keeps on coming and going, its value has managed to stand the test of time. It has more than quadrupled in value since December last year and hit about $4,700 last month before falling back. It fell by another 5 per cent after Dimon’s comments to below $4,000.