Banker's scepticism of bitcoin seen as argument in its favour

Bankers and financial experts have voiced concern over the unchecked spread of the so-called cryptocurrency, and JP Morgan Chase chief executive Jamie Dimon has come down heavily on bitcoin at various conferences in York, calling the cryptocurrency ''a fraud'' and ''worse than tulip bulbs.''

But, according to Jonathan Shieber's article in `Tech Crunch', this scepticism by one of Wall Street's titans, as also in offices of top financial services companies, is perhaps the ''strongest case for bitcoin's lasting importance.''

He points out that Dimon's firm is one of the chief architects of the global financial crisis that led to the interest in the cryptocurrency in the first place. He writes without Jamie Dimon, there would be no need for it and in some ways he is right to fear its rise.

It was revealed in a Vanity Fair piece last week that JPMorgan Chase paid out $13 billion to the US government because of its role in the financial crisis and the mortgage security fiasco that almost destroyed the US economy.

Meanwhile, Dimon told the Delivering Alpha conference presented by CNBC and Institutional Investor, "It's just not a real thing, eventually it will be closed.''

He joked that even his daughter bought some bitcoin, in a bid to profit from a trend that has seen it soar more than 300 per cent this year.

"I'm not saying 'go short bitcoin and sell $100,000 of bitcoin before it goes down," he said. "This is not advice of what to do. My daughter bought bitcoin, it went up and now she thinks she's a genius."

"It's worse than tulip bulbs. It won't end well. Someone is going to get killed," Dimon said at a banking industry conference organised by Barclays. "Currencies have legal support. It will blow up."

According to commentators, Dimon's criticism comes at a time when several well-known figures on Wall Street are seen to embrace the cryptocurrency. Fundstrat's Tom Lee said he expected bitcoin to surge to $6,000 next year and value investor Bill Miller reportedly owns bitcoin.