JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon may not be interested in bitcoin, but he does regret calling it a fraud. In an interview with Fox Business Network covered by Bloomberg, Dimon said he wished he hadn’t used that terminology when dismissing bitcoin.
“I regret making [those comments],” Dimon said. “The blockchain is real. You can have crypto yen and dollars and stuff like that.”
In September, when the price of bitcoin was surging, Dimon famously called it a fraud and warned that he would fire any trader that bought and sold the cryptocurrency. He reiterated his lack of interest in the digital currency, saying in the interview that the government will likely intervene and hurt bitcoin’s growth and acceptance around the globe.
“The bitcoin [issue], to me, was always what the governments are going to feel about bitcoin as it gets really big,” he said. “I just have a different opinion than other people. I’m not interested that much in the subject at all.”
Dimon does support blockchain technologies, however, and feels initial coin offerings (ICOs) must be examined on an individual basis. He isn’t the only one to praise blockchain technology while dismissing bitcoin. PayPal CEO Dan Schulman told TheStreet.com that while the digital payment company is focused on innovating in the payment market, it’s not focused specifically on the digital currency.
“I think right now, and we’re seeing this maybe more than ever, the volatility of the cryptocurrency makes it actually unsuitable to be a real currency that retailers can accept,” Schulman said in the interview. “[That’s] because retailers have very narrow margins, and when you have a bitcoin bouncing up and down by 15 percent over a couple weeks period, that can be the difference between profits and losing money on every sale.”
While Schulman is skeptical about bitcoin, he says blockchain technology is a “real breakthrough” for any technologies that are founded on distributed trust. He also said PayPal has a lot of room to innovate with blockchain technology.
“I think you need to separate out the bitcoin or cryptocurrencies as currencies and the underlying protocol called blockchain,” he said.