JPMorgan chief executive Jamie Dimon has lashed out at the supporters of Bitcoin, calling it "a currency made of thin air" and a "fraud," predicting that "it won't end well."
Dimon said that if one of his JPMorgan workers would trade Bitcoin, he would have fired him "in a second for two reasons. One, it’s against our rules. Two, it’s stupid."
He went on to say that Bitcoin "won't end well… someone is going to get killed and then the government is going to come down on it," he said at a bank investor conference in New York as quoted by Reuters.
The JPMorgan Chase CEO claimed that the cryptocurrency is suitable only for use in Venezuela, North Korea or Ecuador. "Or if you were a drug dealer, a murderer, stuff like that, you are better off dealing in bitcoin than in US dollars, you are better off bypassing the system of your country even if what I just said is true. There may be a market for that but it’s a limited market," Dimon said.
Dimon also compared Bitcoin's rise to the so-called "tulip mania" in the 17th century, which boosted prices for tulip bulbs to extremely high levels because the flower was new at that time. However, eventually the prices for tulips dropped, making it the first ever speculative bubble ever recorded in the world.
The JPMorgan CEO's words were echoed by expert Zhou Wuying, who said that the skyrocketing price of Bitcoin in recent years is likely to undergo the economic bubble like Tulip mania in the Netherlands.
Digital currencies, also known as cryptocurrencies, have no material form and global currency regulation does not currently apply to them. An unlimited number of anonymous sources can issue and use such currencies. Central banks worldwide have treated the phenomenon with caution, although some have started exploring the possibilities it offers and even developing their own cryptocurrency.