Market Extra: It took about 24 hours for Jamie Dimon to break a bitcoin vow

By

Senior economics reporter

This may be one of the shortest vows J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.’s CEO has ever made. A little over a day since saying he wouldn’t talk about bitcoin, a popular digital currency, which he has declared “a fraud,” Jamie Dimon was back at it again on Friday.

“If you’re stupid enough to buy it, you’ll pay the price someday,” he said, delivering another fresh bearish message to bitcoin bulls.

Dimon was speaking during a panel discussion at the Institute for International Finance in Washington.

On Thursday, the outspoken bank boss, during a call with reporters to discuss the behemoth bank’s third-quarter results, said “I wouldn’t put [bitcoin] high in the category of important things in the world, but I’m not going to talk about bitcoin anymore.”

Read: 5 reasons bitcoin is roaring to its highest level ever, defying Dimon’s ‘fraud’ call

However, Dimon couldn’t seem to help himself regarding bitcoin BTCUSD, +5.05% on a day in which the No. 1 digital currency hit a fresh all-time peak and flirted with a level around $6,000.

Dimon went on to say that bitcoin “is a great product, if you are a criminal,” referencing the widely held view that cryptographic currencies are used launder money. BlackRock Inc.’s BLK, -1.04% CEO Larry Fink, at the same event, chimed in, echoing Dimon and comments the investment manager has made before: “Bitcoin is an index to launder money.”

Dimon had lots more to say: He said governments will “crush” the currency one day, mostly by regulated digital currencies out of existence. He admitted that the highflying asset could reach $100,000 before it “goes to zero” and pointed to speculators as a big driver behind a recent rally.

After his cybercurrency takedown, Dimon again vowed to stop talking about bitcoin. This time, he said, is the“last time I’m every going to answer a question about bitcoin.”

One former J.P. Morgan trader , Daniel Masters, has offered a decidedly different stance on digital currencies than Dimon.

Masters, who runs Global Advisors Bitcoin Investment Trust, told research and data site CoinDesk in a recent interview that digital currencies have the potential to “digitize and tokenize…precious metals, commodities, stocks and bonds,” potentially altering the fabric of Wall Street, leaving industry veterans seriously behind the evolutionary curve.

So far, Dimon’s screeds against cryptos have led to retreats in bitcoin’s price, followed by sharp moves higher, to such an extent that investors genuinely betting for its price to fall might hope that he holds to his vow to stay silent this time.

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