JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon Mocks Bitcoin and Satoshi Nakamoto

Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan, one of the largest banks in the world, has once again made controversial remarks about Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency by market capitalization, during an interview with CNBC at Davos 2024 on Jan. 17.

Dimon, who has a history of criticizing Bitcoin and calling it a “fraud” in the past, expressed an unusual theory in which he suggested that Bitcoin could be wiped out once its maximum supply is reached. He said:

“I think there’s a good chance that … when we get to that 21 million Bitcoins, [Satoshi Nakamato] is going to come on there, laugh hysterically, go quiet, and all Bitcoin is going to be erased.”

Satoshi Nakamoto is the pseudonym of the mysterious creator or creators of Bitcoin, who has never revealed their identity or communicated with the public since 2011. Bitcoin is designed to have a fixed supply of 21 million coins, which is expected to be mined by around 2140, according to the current protocol. However, Dimon implied that Satoshi Nakamoto could somehow intervene and destroy all the existing Bitcoins at that point, without providing any evidence or explanation for his claim.

Dimon also cast doubt on the credibility of Bitcoin’s issuance schedule, which is determined by a mathematical algorithm that adjusts the mining difficulty and the block reward every 2016 blocks. He said:

“How the hell do you know that it’s going to stop at 21 [million]? I’ve never met one person who told me that they know for a fact.”

Dimon’s co-panellist, CNBC Squawk Box host Joe Kernen, tried to counter Dimon’s arguments by pointing out that the last Bitcoin will not be mined until about 2140 due to the increasing mining difficulty, and that Bitcoin shares many economic properties with gold, such as scarcity, durability, and fungibility. However, Dimon dismissed Kernen’s comparison, saying, “You may be right … [but] I don’t own gold either.”

Dimon’s latest statements have sparked a huge backlash on social media, both from Bitcoin supporters and critics, who accused him of being ignorant, arrogant, or dishonest about the nature and potential of Bitcoin. Many users also mocked Dimon for mispronouncing the first half of Satoshi Nakamoto’s name as “Satashi”, which they interpreted as a sign of disrespect or lack of knowledge.

Dimon’s views on Bitcoin contrast with those of some of his peers and competitors in the financial industry, who have embraced Bitcoin as a legitimate asset class and a hedge against inflation and currency devaluation. For instance, Michael Saylor, the CEO of MicroStrategy, a business intelligence company, has invested over US$2 billion of his company’s treasury into Bitcoin, and has become one of the most vocal advocates of the cryptocurrency. Similarly, Brian Brooks, the former acting Comptroller of the Currency under the Trump administration, has recently joined Binance.US, a leading crypto exchange, as its CEO, and has expressed his optimism about the future of crypto regulation and innovation.

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