Hubris. If you haven’t met Jamie Dimon, CEO of the largest U.S. bank, J.P. Morgan Chase, and may not know what hubris means, he will demonstrate, if not embody it for you. Jamie Dimon, in his less than humble opinion, declared Bitcoin dead at the Fortune Global Forum in San Fransisco yesterday, and not just in the United States, but anywhere where a central government exists.
How many times has Bitcoin been declared dead?
If you are a charter member of the centralized banking elite, like Jamie Dimon, the unbreakable nature of Bitcoin, or any decentralized system is beneath your stream of consciousness. Elitists tend to wish things they don’t understand or control into the cornfields. This actually works for them, to some extent, but Bitcoin does not fall within that number.
Warren Buffett, “The Oracle of Omaha,” made a similar technological faux pas in his naive assessment of Bitcoin last year, saying the following
“Stay away from it. It’s a mirage, basically. […] It’s a method of transmitting money. It’s a very effective way of transmitting money, and you can do it anonymously and all that. A check is a way of transmitting money, too. Are checks worth a whole lot of money just because they can transmit money? Are money orders? You can transmit money by money orders. People do it. I hope Bitcoin becomes a better way of doing it, but you can replicate it a bunch of different ways, and it will be. The idea that it has some huge intrinsic value is just a joke in my view.”
Jamie Dimon was just as dismissive and confident in his dismissal of the Bitcoin currency’s merit. Here’s what he had to say when asked directly about it by an audience member:
“You’re wasting your time (with Bitcoin)! Virtual currency, where it’s called a bitcoin vs. a U.S. dollar, that’s going to be stopped,” said Dimon. “No government will ever support a virtual currency that goes around borders and doesn’t have the same controls. It’s not going to happen.”
Two years ago, Bitcoin and any of its associated technology was looked down upon as a joke by the economic establishment. Now that the virtues of Bitcoin’s Blockchain technology are beginning to be understood, and the ledger system may be of use to bankers, this technology has carried favor with the mainstream.
But don’t worry; Bitcoin is still a joke, as Dimon explains.
“Blockchain is like any other technology. If it is cheaper, effective, works, and secure, then we are going to use it. The technology will be used, and it could be used to transport currency, but it will be dollars, not bitcoins.”
The tenor, the manner, the hubris of Dimon’s commentary should really be experienced, so Cointelegraph has provided the fortune.com video below. This is far from the first or last time that the mainstream has cast off Bitcoin from the realm of the living, as the Bitcoin obituaries remind us.
However, let’s delve into the validity of his opinion, which was stated as fact that “Bitcoin is going to be stopped.” In the province of Taiwan, that may be a realistic option of one czar-like regulator. Jamie Dimon might be surprised to learn that in “The Land of the Free,” banishing a digital currency because you are threatened by it is easier said than done.
There are some legal and political constructs that make the outright banning of bitcoin or a similar digital currency highly unlikely. Firstly, the FEC has made the donation of Bitcoins to politicians legal, and many have run for office receiving bitcoin donations. Banning an avenue for politicians can receive payola is not going to get a great amount of traction, in practice.
Next, religious organizations have started to receive Bitcoin donations. There are many existing American legal precedents protecting the funds receipt of churches and alike from such draconian measures of The State, so that is a dead end. Bitcoins will be transmitted domestically, under the auspices of religious funding, at least.
Thirdly, the Citizens United vs. FEC case of 2010, where the sending of money was found to be a form of speech by the Supreme Court of the United States, creates a massive roadblock to such dirty pool. Basically, any Bitcoin mogul could take the U.S. Government to court, and win fairly easily, given this legal precedent is already ruled in Bitcoin’s favor and is on the books.
The U.S. Government knows this is now baked into the cake, if you will, and wouldn’t put themselves in that legal position, basically legalizing Bitcoin to the hilt. (Thank you to Andreas Antonopoulos for the “State of the Bitcoin” here, reviewed with Adam Kokesh.)
Far be it for Jamie Dimon to have any conflict of interest in such a discussion about “The Future of Money.” He is a CEO of a bank who for years sat on the Board of Directors for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the one that regulates his bank. His bank uses “Fractional Reserve Banking” to create 90% of its money out of thin air, every day, but the bitcoin currency is the one that is illegitimate?
His bank has only 10% of what they claim to keep from deposits, but Bitcoin is the real problem that the government must stop? Finally, J.P. Morgan Chase also took US$25,000,000,000 from the U.S. government’s TARP program back in 2008, while admitting they didn’t even need the money.
Need I say more? Something or someone needs to be stopped, but it’s not Bitcoin.