Bitcoin is a fraud that will ultimately blow up, according to JP Morgan boss Jamie Dimon, who said the digital currency was only fit for use by drug dealers, murderers and people living in places such as North Korea.
Speaking at a conference in New York, the boss of America’s biggest bank said he would fire “in a second” anyone at the investment bank found to be trading in bitcoin. “For two reasons: it’s against our rules, and they’re stupid. And both are dangerous.”Bitcoin is the first, and the biggest, "cryptocurrency" – a decentralised tradable digital asset. Whether it's a bad investment is the $70bn question (literally, since that's the current value of all bitcoins in existence). Bitcoin can only be used as a medium of exchange and in practice has been far more important for the dark economy than it has for most legitimate uses. The lack of any central authority makes bitcoin remarkably resilient to censorship, corruption – or regulation. That means it has attracted a range of backers, from libertarian monetarists who enjoy the idea of a currency with no inflation and no central bank, to drug dealers who like the fact that it's hard (but not impossible) to trace a bitcoin transaction back to a physical person.
He added: “The currency isn’t going to work. You can’t have a business where people can invent a currency out of thin air and think that people who are buying it are really smart.
“If you were in Venezuela or Ecuador or North Korea or a bunch of parts like that, or if you were a drug dealer, a murderer, stuff like that, you are better off doing it in bitcoin than US dollars,” he said. “So there may be a market for that, but it would be a limited market.”
Bitcoin is a virtual currency that emerged in the aftermath of the financial crisis. It allows people to bypass banks and traditional payment processes to pay for goods and services. Banks and other financial institutions have been concerned about bitcoin’s earl...