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JPMorgan chief executive says bitcoin is a scam - but his bank is trading in digital currency

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October 2, 2017 | 

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Joanna Newman | 

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JPMorgan chief executive says bitcoin is a scam - but his bank is trading in digital currency

The bank negotiates for clients but does not have its own positions; The Bank also filed 175 patent applications for "Alternative Bitcoin"


A week after JP Morgan Chase (93.69 -1.2%), Jamie Damon, said the Bitcoin was a scam that will eventually explode and announced that if he had caught an employee of his bank buying the digital currency, he would immediately lay off it, it turns out that the US banking giant is negotiating Bitcoins for its customers.

Like other Wall Street banks, JPMorgan also acts as an intermediary between buyers and sellers of Bitcoin XBT, an ETF that tracks the value of digital money. The financial blog "Zero Hedge" reported that JP Morgan carried out a series of purchases of Bitcoin XBT last weekend.

However, JPMorgan's spokesperson, Brian Markioni, said in response that "these are not JPMorgan's guidelines, but customers who buy third-party products directly". Markioni also noted that the bank does not have its own positions in institutions related to investments in Bitcoin.

Bitcoin allows transactions between two parties to be executed securely without the need for the institutionalized financial system requiring third party mediation. The digital currency was developed in the context of the global financial crisis of 2008, caused by the financial misconduct of the major banks, including JP Morgan.

However, most financial institutions are in no hurry to adopt virtual currency, partly because of its dubious reputation as a means of money laundering, cybercrime and drug trafficking.

"This currency will not work," said Damon, CEO of JPMorgan at an investor conference in New York on September 12. "There can be no trade where people can make coins out of wind and think people who buy them are really smart," Damon said. If I had an employee who bought Bitcoin from the bank, I would have dismissed him in two minutes, for two reasons: because it is contrary to our rules and because an employee who does it is stupid, and two things are dangerous.

Bitcoin's strong criticism does not prevent JPMorgan from extending its activity in Blockchain technology - the technical protocol developed within the framework of the invention of Bitcoin, on which the digital currency trading is based.

For example, the Bank recently published a job advertisement for a Blockchain specialist and since 2013 has filed at least 175 patent applications for "Alternative Bitcoin" in the United States.

Last week, Bitcoin's value was reduced to about one-third and dropped to about $ 3,200, in the context of Damon's remarks and reports on the closure of digital exchange in China by the authorities. Since then, however, the currency has been traded to nearly $ 4,000, according to Coindesk data.

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