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JPMorgan chief Jamie Dimon regrets calling bitcoin a ‘fraud’ – but still isn’t interested

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JPMorgan chief executive Jamie Dimon regrets having called bitcoin a “fraud” but would still not be interested in the cryptocurrency, he said in an interview on Fox Business on Tuesday.

Dimon, known for his candid comments, slammed the viability of bitcoin in September and had threatened to fire JPMorgan traders who traded in the cryptocurrency. 

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The buzz generated by Dimon’s comments spurred more interest in the alt-currency. Bitcoin rose around 30 per cent in one month following Dimon’s speech, where he also compared the currency to tulips bulbs in a reference to the famous market bubble from the 1600s.

He took a more tempered view in an interview on Fox Business channel on Tuesday, saying he ‘regretted’ labelling bitcoin a fraud but confirmed he was still staying away from it.

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon still wouldn't recommend bitcoin as an investment. JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon still wouldn’t recommend bitcoin as an investment.  Photo: J. Scott Applewhite

“The bitcoin was always to me what the governments are going to feel about bitcoin when it gets really big. And I just have a different opinion than other people,” he said.

“I’m not interested that much in the subject at all.”

Several banks, exchange operators and companies have eagerly embraced bitcoin, sparking a spectacular rise in the cryptocurrency, seeing it rise from $US909 a year ago to over $US19,000 in December. It is currently trading at around $US14,500. 

Exchange operators such as CME Group and Cboe Global Markets opened their platforms to allow bitcoin futures trading, while Square rolled out a bitcoin buying/selling feature on its app to a select few. 

Dimon and JPO Morgan chief financial officer Marianne Lake, however, have commended blockchain – the technology used by bitcoin and other digital currencies – a view echoed by Citigroup Inc CFO John Gerspach and many others across the industry.

“Blockchain is real. You can have crypto yen and dollars and stuff like that,” Dimon told Fox. 

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