While more and more Wall Street firms and retail investors are embracing bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, JPMorgan boss Jamie Dimon isn’t playing along with the crypto mania.
He recently slammed the digital asset as “worthless,” and questioned whether its supply can in fact be capped at 21 million. Previously, he’s said he wouldn’t care even if bitcoin’s price soars tenfold.
Bitcoin tested $60,000 in the week to October 15, nearing its record high of $64,863, and is up 104% so far this year.
Meanwhile, institutional adoption of digital assets has strengthened as long-term term investors continued to buy into bitcoin and ethereum.
Many influential tech billionaires – such as Elon Musk, Mark Cuban, and Mike Novogratz – have heaped praise on cryptocurrencies for their potential. In the financial world, the picture is different, and there are several leaders who can’t find a good word to say about digital assets.
Here are 18 big financial players who are also big bitcoin skeptics.
“They’re highly volatile — see bitcoin — and therefore not really useful as a store of value and are not backed by anything.”
“It’s more a speculative asset that’s essentially a substitute for gold rather than for the dollar.”
2. Michael Burry
“$BTC is a speculative bubble that poses more risk than opportunity despite most of the proponents being correct in their arguments for why it is relevant at this point in history.”
3. Janet Yellen
“I don’t think that bitcoin is widely used as a transaction mechanism.”
“It’s an extremely inefficient way of conducting transactions, and the amount of energy that’s consumed in processing those transactions is staggering.”
4. Warren Buffett
“Cryptocurrencies basically have no value and they don’t produce anything. They don’t reproduce, they can’t mail you a check, they can’t do anything.
“And what you hope is that somebody else comes along and pays you more money for them later on, but then that person’s got the problem.”
“In terms of value: zero.”
5. Neel Kashkari
“I was more optimistic about crypto or bitcoin about five or six years ago. So far, what I’ve seen is 99% … let me be charitable, 95% fraud, hype, noise and confusion.”
6. Bill Gates
“I do think people get bought into these manias, who may not have as much money to spare, so I’m not bullish on bitcoin, and my general thought would be that, if you have less money than Elon, you should probably watch out.”
7. Christine Lagarde
Bitcoin is a “highly speculative asset which has conducted some funny business and some interesting and totally reprehensible money laundering activity.”
8. Charlie Munger
“I don’t welcome a currency that’s so useful to kidnappers and extortionists, nor do I like just shoveling out a few extra billions and billions of dollars to somebody who just invented a new financial product out of thin air.”
9. Peter Thiel
“Even though I’m a pro-crypto, pro-bitcoin maximalist person, I do wonder whether at this point bitcoin should also be thought of in part as a Chinese financial weapon against the US.”
“It threatens fiat money, but it especially threatens the US dollar and China wants to do things to weaken it.”
10. Ken Griffin
“I wish all this passion and energy that went to crypto was directed towards making the United States stronger.”
“It’s a jihadist call that we don’t believe in the dollar. What a crazy concept this is, that we as a country embrace so many bright, young, talented people to come up with a replacement for our reserve currency.”
11. Gita Gopinath
“Bitcoin is an example of a cryptocurrency that doesn’t serve the role of money at all. It’s a very speculative investment class.”
“In terms of substituting for what money is, I don’t think it comes close.”
12. Nassim Nicholas Taleb
“The total failure of bitcoin in becoming a currency has been masked by the inflation of the currency value, generating (paper) profits for large enough a number of people to enter the discourse well ahead of its utility.”
13. Paul Krugman
“It’s not a convenient medium of exchange; it’s not a stable store of value; it’s definitely not a unit of account.”
“Its value rests on the perception that it’s a technologically sophisticated way to protect yourself from the inevitable collapse of fiat money, which is coming one of these days, or maybe one of these centuries.”
“Or, as I say, libertarian derp plus technobabble.”
14. Jeremy Grantham
“Having no clear fundamental value and largely unregulated markets, coupled with a storyline conducive to delusions of grandeur, makes this more than anything we can find in the history books the very essence of a bubble.”
15. Larry Fink
“I’m probably more in the Jamie Dimon camp.” — in reference to Dimon calling bitcoin “worthless.”
16. Nouriel Roubini
“Fundamentally, bitcoin is not a currency. It’s not a unit of account, it’s not a scalable means of payment, and it’s not a stable store of value.”
“Calling them cryptocurrencies is a misnomer, they’re not even assets.”
17. Jack Ma
“Blockchain technology could change our world more than people imagine. Bitcoin, however, could be a bubble.”
18. Andrew Bailey
“Given the volatility of the asset value, and given the fact that there isn’t a real asset underpinning them … I’m afraid if you want to buy them, then please understand that you can lose — you could lose all your money.”