Only days after the CEO of JP Morgan dismissed Bitcoin as ‘a fraud’, the company bought 19,102 Exchange-Traded-Notes (ETN) which track the price of Bitcoin valued at around 95 Bitcoins, or $500,000.
According to Nordnet trading logs, two firms, JP Morgan Securities Ltd., and Morgan Stanley bought roughly €3 Million of shares.
Following the recent regulatory crackdown in China, and the statements from Mr Dimon, the company bought the shares during a rare dip the crypto currency’s ongoing growth. In fact JP Morgan bought more of the currency than the other major financial institutions, including Goldman Sachs and Barclays.
Dimon said he’s skeptical that governments and authorities will allow a currency to exist without state oversight. “Someone’s going to get killed and then the government’s going to come down,” he told event delegates. “You just saw in China, governments like to control their money supply.”
He also noted that it can be useful to people in places with no other options – so long as the supply of coins doesn’t surge. “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 U.S. dollars. So there may be a market for that, but it’d be a limited market.”
Dimon was careful to separate Bitcoin from its underlying blockchain technology, which he noted could be useful. However, he predicted that banks’ adoption of blockchain “won’t be overnight.”
It’s not known if the bank is buying the coins for itself, or acting as a broker for a third party. However, the timing of the transaction has caused speculation in the cryptocurrency media, that the bank may have attempted to deliberately undermine the currency before buying.
Despite the CEO’s comments, JP Morgan remains a leading member of the Etherium Enterprise Alliance.