JPMorgan chief executive officer Jamie Dimon has not changed his low opinion of Bitcoin despite his bank's embrace of the cryptocurrency among its offerings, according to news reports.
"I personally think that bitcoin is worthless," Dimon said Monday at an Institute of International Finance event held online Monday, according to Reuters. "I don't think you should smoke cigarettes either."
The CEO made it clear that his views are different from ones held by his company and its board, the newswire writes.
"Our clients are adults. They disagree. If they want to have access to buy or sell bitcoin — we can't custody it — but we can give them legitimate, as-clean-as-possible access,” Dimon said, according to Reuters.
He added that the cryptocurrency will be regulated by the government for anti-money laundering, Bank Secrecy Act and tax purposes, the newswire writes.
Bitcoin was trading at above $57,000 as of Tuesday morning, which was a five-month high, according to CoinDesk.
Dimon has criticized Bitcoin for years: in 2017, the CEO called the cryptocurrency a “fraud,” although he said later that he regretted the statement, according to Reuters.
But JPMorgan has been steadily warming to digital assets this year. In April reports emerged that JPMorgan would offer clients access to a Bitcoin fund, with NYDIG serving as the custody provider.
In July, JPMorgan told its financial advisors that they were allowed to trade in four cryptocurrency products from Grayscale Investments and one from Osprey Funds.
And in August, JPMorgan started pitching an in-house Bitcoin fund to clients in its private bank unit, which serves ultra-wealthy clients.
Last week, meanwhile, JPMorgan’s analysts said that, “Institutional investors appear to be returning to Bitcoin, perhaps seeing it as a better inflation hedge than gold,” according to Fortune.
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