Jamie Dimon Defends Right to Buy Bitcoin Even Though He Never Will

The JPMorgan CEO has been a consistent critic of the cryptocurrency, though his latest comments suggest maybe a tiny bit of softening.

AccessTimeIconMar 12, 2024 at 3:35 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 12, 2024 at 3:37 p.m. UTC
  • JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon compared buying bitcoin to smoking a cigarette.
  • He repeated his criticism of cryptocurrency being used for illegal activity.
  • Dimon also encouraged the Fed to wait until June before cutting interest rates.

Jamie Dimon, CEO of U.S. banking giant JPMorgan (JPM), said he will "defend your right to buy bitcoin," even if he personally will never buy any himself.

"I defend your right to smoke a cigarette, [and] I’ll defend your right to buy a Bitcoin,” he said, according to a Reuters report, citing a video appearance at the Australian Financial Review business summit. “I will personally never buy Bitcoin and I do think it’s a risk if you are a buyer. When governments look at all this stuff, why do they put up with it?”

Dimon also repeated his criticism that a lot of the practical uses for cryptocurrency were illegal activity like fraud and terrorism.

Dimon has been a consistent critic of the cryptocurrency over the years, but these latest comments suggest just the tiniest bit of softening. After all, it was in December that he told a U.S. Senate committee he would shut Bitcoin down were he the government.

Holding court at Davos one month later, he compared BTC to a "pet rock."

On the broader matter of the U.S. economy, Dimon urged the Federal Reserve to wait until June before cutting interest rates as a means of ensuring it is winning its fight against inflation.

"If I were them, I would wait," he said. "You can always cut it quickly and dramatically. Their credibility is a little bit at stake here. I would even wait past June and let it all sort it out."

Earlier this morning, the government's inflation report for February showed an unexpected rise.


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Jamie Crawley

Jamie Crawley is a CoinDesk news reporter based in London.