Criticizing Bitcoin Could Backfire

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon is facing market abuse reports from algorithmic liquidity provider Blockswater, according to the UK’s biggest financial news publication CityAM.

Earlier this month, at a banking conference hosted by Barclays, Dimon offered baseless condemnation on Bitcoin, claiming that the decentralized cryptocurrency is a fraud and that the government will soon close down the network of Bitcoin.

Almost immediately after providing a non-factual and inaccurate assessment of Bitcoin, Dimon was heavily criticized by prominent venture capital investor and the owner of the Golden State Warriors, Chamath Palihapitiya.

At the conference, in response to Dimon’s comments, Palihapitiya explained that governments are limited in what they can restrict and regulate within the global Bitcoin industry and market. He emphasized that government agencies and financial regulators can control trading activities around Bitcoin but cannot manipulate or censor the peer-to-peer protocol itself.

To the Dimon’s labeling Bitcoin as fraud, Palihapitiya answered:

“Absolutely not. It cannot be a fraud. What countries can constrain today is how it is effectively traded, but it cannot be controlled. It is a fundamentally distributed system that exists peer to peer. And so to the extent that you can basically eliminate the will and the actions of every single person in the world, you can eliminate it. But in the absence of that, the genie is fundamentally out of the bottle.”

Subsequent to the release of Dimon’s condemnation on Bitcoin, the price of the digital currency plunged from over $4,400 to $3,900. Many analysts have clarified that the price drop of Bitcoin most likely was not impacted by Dimon’s comments but rather by the Chinese government’s imposition of a nationwide ban on Bitcoin exchanges.

Still, Blockswater pursued a market abuse report against Dimon for his statement that was evidently incorrect and because of the involvement of JPMorgan Securities Ltd. in various Bitcoin investments.

On Sep. 15, trusted sources including Bitcoin developer Andrew DeSantis and respected Bitcoin trader IamNomad published screenshots of four separate purchases of Bitcoin XBT shares by the bank accounts of JPMorgan Securities. Analysts as Tone Vays supposed they are custodian accounts that purchased the shares of XBT Provider, a Nordic Nasdaq-based Bitcoin exchange-traded note (ETN) on behalf of clients.

It is highly unlikely that JPMorgan Securities as a company made the decision to invest in Bitcoin XBT. Instead, the clients of JPMorgan likely requested bank transfers to XBT Provider in Sweden in order to invest in Bitcoin through regulated channels.

Florian Schweitzer, managing partner at Blockswater said:

"Jamie Dimon's public assertions did not only affect the reputation of Bitcoin, they harmed the interests of some of his own clients and many young businesses that are working hard to create a better financial system.”

The complaint of Blockswater also noted that Dimon purposely released non-factual information in regards to the structure and legitimacy of Bitcoin with the intent of negatively impacting its price and value.

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