Bitcoin enthusiasts have reacted with anger and derision at JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon’s claim that the cryptocurrency is a “fraud.”
Dimon told a conference on Tuesday that bitcoin and the recent popularity of cryptocurrencies more generally are “worse than tulip bulbs” — referring to a notorious market mania in the 17th century that is now synonymous with bubbles.
He also said he would fire any JPMorgan trader he saw trading bitcoin, calling them “stupid,” and “dangerous.”
Bitcoin’s price dipped after Dimon made the comments, but proponents of the digital currency have since come out swinging, playing down the significance of the comments and casting doubts on Dimon’s track record.
“Jamie Dimon doesn’t have the strongest track record when it comes to looking over the hill and generally you can’t teach old dog new tricks,” Charles Hayter, the CEO and cofounder of CryptoCompare told Business Insider.
“Naturally, his comments have generated ire from the crypto community as they have jumped to the defence of their project and beliefs.”
Many in the cryptocurrency community have tried to undermine the authority of Dimon’s comments by highlighting the fact that his bank recieved a government bailout during the financial crisis. The implication appears to be that Dimon was unable to avoid crisis then so does not have the authority to make predictions about the bitcoin market.
Hayter highlighted a comment from one CryptoCompare user, ZoidbergPhD, on its forum accusing Dimon of “hypocrisy.”
Mati Greenspan, an analyst at eToro, a trading company that offers a crypto tracking fund, said in an email on Wednesday morning: “This attack on Bitcoin from Dimon is somewhat strange given the level that JPMorgan has embraced and invested in blockchain technology.
“Not only are they heavily involved in the Hyperledger project, they have also started to develop their own Ethereum like blockchain called Quorum.”
However, Hayter added: “To be fair Dimon is right to highlight some of the fallibilities of Bitcoin in its nascent state.”
Despite anger among many bitcoin enthusiasts, Dimon’s comments have been felt in the price of the crypto currency. Bitcoin is down over 7% against the dollar at just after 12 p.m. BST (7 a.m. ET), as the chart below shows:
Get the latest Bitcoin price here.