Well this is a little awkward…
Four years since Jamie Dimon famously proclaimed that “bitcoin is a fraud”, “will eventually blow up”, and that “any trader trading bitcoin would be fired for being stupid”, JPMorgan’s co-President Daniel Pinto has reportedly admitted that bitcoin and its crypto brethren are a real thing:
“If over time an asset class develops that is going to be used by different asset managers and investors, we will have to be involved,”
CNBC’s Hugh Son reports that last month, during a town hall meeting held for thousands of JPMorgan Chase traders and sales personnel around the world, global markets head Troy Rohrbaugh acknowledged a question that is increasingly being asked by the bank’s own employees: When will they get involved in bitcoin?
In a response that reportedly took up a chunk of the hour-long call, Pinto signaled he was open-minded about bitcoin: “The demand isn’t there yet, but I’m sure it will be at some point.”
JPMorgan is not the only big bank being forced to face up to the new reality of decentralized finance and cryptocurrencies, as CNBC reports that last week, Goldman Sachs hosted a private forum with Mike Novogratz, the CEO-founder of crypto firm Galaxy Digital, for employees and clients. Novogratz expounded on his thesis for bitcoin, ethereum and other digital assets as well as their macroeconomic backdrop during the 90-minute virtual event.
As corporations, payment systems, and disruptors (Tesla, MicroStrategy, MasterCard, PayPal, & BNY Mellon this week alone) increasingly adopt cryptos, if one of the six biggest U.S. banks decides to embrace bitcoin, it would be a major stamp of legitimacy for the nascent asset class.
As Hugh Son concludes, there is irony here: In a few short years, bitcoin went from an idealistic technology meant to cut out banks and other intermediaries to a store of value used mostly by rich people so they can remain rich.
Additionally, just hours after an anonymous source claimed India would issue a blanket ban on all cryptocurrencies, Jack Dorsey and Jay-Z announced a 500 Bitcoin development trust.
JAY-Z/@S_C_ and I are giving 500 BTC to a new endowment named ₿trust to fund #Bitcoin development, initially focused on teams in Africa & India. It‘ll be set up as a blind irrevocable trust, taking zero direction from us. We need 3 board members to start: https://t.co/L4mRBryMJe
— jack (@jack) February 12, 2021
Dubbed the ₿Trust, the application form for board members reveals the mission statement, “Make Bitcoin the internet’s currency.”
Furthermore, CoinTelegraph reports that Bitcoin is looking increasingly like it is in a “supercycle,” not just a bull cycle, statistician Willy Woo suggests.