Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan (NYSE:JPM) – the most respected CEO on Wall Street, visited with CNBC today in an extended interview that also involved a brief discussion on crypto. In the past, Dimon has been highly critical of cryptocurrencies, recently describing crypto as nothing more than decentralized Ponzi schemes when he testified in front of Congress this past September. In light of the bankruptcy of FTX, preceded by other crypto platform failures, Dimon is just one voice in a growing chorus of crypto detractors.
Dimon called crypto as “Pet Rocks,” alluding to a fad that took place in the mid-1970s where a marketing wiz sold rocks in a box, becoming a millionaire in the process. The short-lived phenomena highlighted the fact that some people can be duped into buying just about anything. Dimon also criticized CNBC for spending too much time reporting on the crypto-sphere.
Dimon posed the question of why the regulators beat up on banks when they should be focusing more attention on crypto.
While Dimon lambasted cryptocurrencies, he added that this does not mean that blockchain technology and smart contracts do not have the ability to create value. JP Morgan has been experimenting with leveraging distributed ledger technology in providing financial services.
In 2021, aggregate crypto market values topped $1 trillion. Today, crypto markets stand at around $850 million, representing a profound loss in value. Bitcoin, which once hovered around $60,000, is now at under $17,000.