The JPMorgan Chase CEO slams bitcoin as a ‘hyped-up fraud’ and criticizes regulators for not putting a stop to it ‘long ago.’
Ask Jamie Dimon what he thinks about cryptocurrency and you’re going to get a straight answer.
“I think all that’s been a waste of time and why you guys waste any breath on it is totally beyond me,” the JPMorgan Chase CEO said on CNBC’s Squawk Box on Jan. 19. “Bitcoin itself is a hyped-up fraud, it’s a Pet Rock…it doesn’t do anything.”
“I don’t care about Bitcoin,” Dimon finally declared, “so we should drop the subject.”
For the younger folks out there, the Pet Rock was a fad dreamed up in 1975 by the advertising executive Gary Dahl.
After listening to his friends complain about their pets, Dahl decided rocks would be the perfect pet since they didn’t need to be fed, walked or groomed.
Dahl become a millionaire selling Pet Rocks before the fad fizzled in six months.
But he made his mark and gave Dimon a handy metaphor that the executive used to mercilessly club the world’s largest cryptocurrency.
Dimon Calls Crypto ‘Decentralized Ponzi Scheme’
And Dimon didn’t hold back when the subject turned to the FTX scandal, which has rocked the crypto sector and seen its founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, slapped with a series of criminal and civil charges.
“I’m not surprised at all,” he said. “I called it’s a decentralized Ponzi scheme. The hype around this thing has been extraordinary. You guys have you’ve all seen … the analysis and all these things and the lack of disclosures and it’s outrageous.”
“Regulators should’ve put a stop to this a long time ago,” Dimon added. “People have lost billions of dollars.”
This was not the first time Dimon has invoked the fraud named after the Italian businessman Charles Ponzi. He dropped the “decentralized Ponzi scheme” line to lawmakers in Washington last year.
Dimon has also said he thinks cryptos were being used for illegal practices such as sex trafficking and money laundering.
The Squawk Box chat wasn’t all squawking, though, as Dimon did say that blockchain was “a technology ledger system system that we use to move information.”
“We’ve used it to move money,” he said.”It’s a technology ledger type that we think will be deployable.”