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JPMorgan CEO: Bitcoin, other cryptos are 'decentralized Ponzi schemes'

During his testimony to Congress on Wednesday, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon criticized cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, comparing them to Ponzi schemes.

Video Transcript

[AUDIO LOGO]

JAMIE DIMON: You have to separate blockchain, which is real, DeFi which is real ledgers, tokens that do something and deliver information, money, ideas, simplify smart contracts. That's one thing. I'm not a skeptic. OK, I'm a major skeptic on crypto tokens, which you call currency, like Bitcoin. They are decentralized Ponzi schemes. And the notion that it's good for anybody is unbelievable.

RACHELLE AKUFFO: I mean, it's not really surprising. Back in 2017, he called crypto a fraud. But using this opportunity, though-- I mean, obviously, when you're the head of a bank you have your own sort of vested interest and your own views in crypto and tokens. But Seana, what do you think?

SEANA SMITH: Yeah, I mean, I don't think it comes as a big surprise. He's also called it worthless in the past. He's been very critical--

DAVE BRIGGS: A year ago.

SEANA SMITH: --of cryptocurrency. He also pointed to the hacks and also the schemes, the fraud that has taken place in the crypto space. After the recent drop, the turmoil that we're seeing in the market, I think it will be a while before Jamie Dimon really changes his view on this space, Dave.

DAVE BRIGGS: Well, I think really until-- again, and I hate to feel like a broken record, Jamie is too, on Bitcoin. But until it's tethered to something, until it has a practical use for someone like Jamie Dimon, I think he's going to continue to--

SEANA SMITH: Yes.

DAVE BRIGGS: --say things like that. And he's gonna be proven right by the fluctuations that are anchored to, generally speaking, nothing, Rachelle. But I know you're gonna defend it, right? You are gonna defend it.

SEANA SMITH: [LAUGHS]

RACHELLE AKUFFO: I mean, it's decentralized. That's kind of the point. It's meant to circumvent these things. But you know, it's helping the unbanked so we'll see. So obviously--

DAVE BRIGGS: There you go.

RACHELLE AKUFFO: --still very, very volatile and not something to put all your money in all at once.