(BBG) Simon Says He Regrets Bitcoin Comments, Calls Blockchain ‘Real’

(Bloomberg) — Jamie Dimon is having second thoughts about
wading in to the bitcoin controversy.
The JPMorgan Chase & Co. chief executive officer, who
earlier called the cryptocurrency a “fraud,” said Tuesday he
wishes he hadn’t dismissed the technology in such broad terms.
“I regret making” those comments, Dimon said in an
interview with the Fox Business network. “The blockchain is
real. You can have crypto yen and dollars and stuff like that.”
In September, Dimon said bitcoin was “worse than tulip
bulbs,” and threatened to fire any trader who bought or sold
them for being “stupid.” The 61-year-old CEO said Tuesday he’s
still not very interested in the subject, and thinks that
government intervention may eventually hamper bitcoin’s growth
and acceptance.
“The bitcoin 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.”
The value of digital currencies have surged this year, with
everyone from regulators to top bank executives taking note. The
price of bitcoin, the most ubiquitous of the currencies, has
more than tripled to $14,297 since Dimon made his comments in
September.
Dimon reiterated in the interview that he believes in
blockchain, the technology used for verifying and recording
transactions that’s at the heart of cryptocurrencies. Experts
have said blockchain technology could reshape the global
financial system and JPMorgan is testing potential use cases of
the technology.
Initial coin offerings, however, “you have to look at
individually,” he said in the interview.