Jamie Dimon is crypto’s most boring villain

Jamie Dimon is back in the news again talking about bitcoin — but he pinky promises that it’s for the very last time, really.

The JPMorgan Chase CEO gave his regular crypto spiel to CNBC at Davos (again) today: He loves blockchain and smart contracts, and thinks bitcoin is useless. As Dimon puts it, bitcoin is just a “pet rock” (something he’s said at least twice on record in the past few years).

While Dimon’s often-profanity laced views on bitcoin are nowhere near as vitriolic as, say, Charlie Munger — who called trading bitcoin “harvesting baby brains” — or Warren Buffet — who called bitcoin “rat poison squared” — he’s still made the news countless times for his little bitcoin soundbites. 

I should know: I’ve been covering what Jamie Dimon has said to the media about bitcoin for six years now, back when I used to capitalize “Blockchain.” 

But unlike January 2018, when what JPMorgan did with crypto seemed to have a whole lot more sway — Dimon’s anti-bitcoin comments just don’t have that much bite anymore. The crypto space has moved on from villainizing Dimon and his hella centralized bank token (which somehow appears to still be in existence) to villainizing Gary Gensler. 

Because Gensler, even though I personally think he’s just a grandstander, actually has the ability to actively impede bitcoin’s adoption in his role at the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Dimon, even though he’s head of one of America’s largest banks, doesn’t wield anything like that kind of power. 

Read more from our opinion section: Gary Gensler is utterly unimportant

So while Dimon did make the news today for his little bitcoin soundbites, his frustration over being asked yet again about bitcoin rings a bit hollow: 

“So just please stop talking about this s*** […] People have opinions, and this is the last time I’m ever going to state my opinion.”

For someone who has been saying the exact same thing about bitcoin and blockchain for six years, has no real influence over what anyone in the world does with bitcoin or blockchain, and keeps getting his face in the news for those selfsame views, why protest so much?

Who actually believes that the next time Dimon is asked about bitcoin, he will remain stone-faced and curtly say, “no comment”?

Not me.

I don’t care much about tech, I don’t care a whole lot about finance, either. I care about writing stories and watching weird things unfold. And that’s why I’ve ended up in crypto.

But because I’m missing that passion for what crypto and blockchain are all about — finance, tech, privacy, yadda yadda — I’m going to write instead about what I am actually interested in. Everything about crypto that has very little to do with crypto.

That’s what this column will be about. All the tangential stories that come out of the blockchain and crypto space, what I think about them, and how I navigate it all as a skeptical former Russian literature major.

It’s precisely my perch as an outsider that lets me do what I do: Opine on all sides of any crypto issue, no strings attached, no skin in the game.

If you want to talk crypto with me, let’s go off topic.

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