Even though Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, has spoken out against bitcoin in the past, the Wall Street bank is considering offering its clients access to CME’s bitcoin futures contract.
Back in September, Dimon took a stab at the digital currency when he called it ‘a fraud.’ This was later followed up with the statement from him that bitcoin was ‘worth nothing.’ Now, though, in a complete u-turn of events, the largest U.S. bank is considering helping its clients bet on the price of bitcoin via the CME’s planned bitcoin futures contract, reports The Wall Street Journal.
At the end of October, Terry Duffy, CME Group chairman and CEO, said that:
Given increasing client interest in the evolving cryptocurrency markets, we have decided to introduce a bitcoin futures contract.
As a consequence, this has helped to push the price of bitcoin up, which is currently enjoying a continued surge in value. At the time of publishing, the digital currency is trading at $8,146, with a market cap worth just over $136 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.
As a result of bitcoin’s steadily increasing value and the fact that it has risen eight-fold since the beginning of the year, many Wall Street banks are being forced to look more closely at it. In June, Barclays revealed that it was in discussions with U.K. regulators about bringing cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin ‘into play.’ Whereas, HSBC, Societe Generale, and Deutsche Bank, to name a few, have set up a consortium to create a digital currency platform of their own.
The WSJ reports that:
JPMorgan is considering whether to provide its clients access to CME’s new bitcoin product through its futures-brokerage unit.
News of JPMorgan’s plan will no doubt be a shock to many considering the disparaging remarks the banker has said before regarding the cryptocurrency.
At a conference in October, Dimon expressed to those in attendance that those ‘stupid enough to buy it’ will ‘pay the price for it one day,’ adding:
I’ve also told people that it can trade at $100,000 before it trades to zero. Tulip bulbs traded for $75,000 or something like that. The only value of bitcoin is what the other guy’ll pay for it.
His comments regarding bitcoin are in stark contrast to how he feels about the distributed ledger. While speaking at the conference he said that the blockchain was a ‘good technology’ that will be ‘useful in a lot of different things.’
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