And here comes Citi, realizing it desperately needs to get on the bandwagon now before it's too late:
- CITI CFO SAYS CRYPTO AND DIGITAL CURRENCIES 'WORTHY OF EXPLORATION'
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It's probably not a coincidence that on the day bitcoin hit new all time highs above $5,200, and just over a week after the WSJ reported that Goldman is planning a bitcoin trading operation, JPMorgan seems to be changing it tune.
With Bitcoin soaring nearly 100% from the bottom of the sharp selloff following Jamie Dimon's slam of cryptocurrencies as "frauds" exactly one month ago today, bitcoin was one of the more popular topics on today's earnings call, where JPMorgan CFO Marianne Lake confirmed what everyone already knew, namely that the technology underlying bitcoin - blockchain - is something the bank is investing in, and is "very optimistic" about the underlying technology of distributed ledgers and blockchain.
However, what was more interesting is that when asked whether the bank would consider looking at opportunities in digital currencies, Lake responded that JPMorgan is "open-minded" to potential use in the future for cryptocurrencies that are regulated.
This just one month after her boss, JPM CEO Jamie Dimon lashed out at the cryptocurrency, calling it a "fraud" which is "worse than tulip bulbs. It won't end well", will "blow up" and "someone is going to get killed." Oh, and that "any JPMorgan trader trading bitcoin" will be "fired for being stupid."
Fast forward one month, when bitcoin just hit a new all time high due to relentless demand, having completely ignored both China's ban of exchange trading and Dimon's rant, and with everyone - including Goldman - wanting to be part of it, JPMorgan clearly has no qualms about its "fiduciary obligation" when it comes to taking clients' money to help put them in what it has called - on the public record - a fraud.
That said, Jamie Dimon was far less verbose today, and as Bloomberg notes he wasn't keen to talk about bitcoin again when asked about the cryptocurrency during today's call. Dimon said “I wouldn’t put this high in the category of important things in the world, but I’m not going to talk about bitcoin anymore.” Later he added that JPMorgan moves trillions of dollars a day “effectively digitally” today. "It’s not cash," he said.
Suddenly portraying itself as one of the biggest supporters of crypto tech, Lake said the bank is "at the forefront of trying to look at the efficiency, scaleability of the platforms" and use cases for clients. Lake added that blockchain is "transformational for the financial services industry" and the bank is "working hard [and] investing money" in it.
Still, Lake said the bank is "very open minded to the potential use cases....for digital currencies that are properly regulated" though that area is "quite nascent." Which, needless to say, sounds quite different from "we will fire anyone who is caught trading that tulip bulb fraud"...