Jamie Dimon: “Buy Bitcoin, folks.”

Comment by Jamie Dimon on Paul Krugman’s weekly column on Bitcoin

Jamie Dimon
New York
Technobabble? “The Times They Are a Changin’,” (not the NY “Times”) As intelligent as Krugman is, his intellect may be stuck in the legacy financial system. Buy Bitcoin, folks. But like with any investment, only invest what you are willing to lose. Krugman’s negativity probably stems from a lack of understanding Bitcoin’s technology. Or he is closely associated with the Fed, banks and other financial institutions, all which hope to dissuade as they buy Bitcoin at suppressed prices. Or… he’s just “blocking up the hall.” 

I haven’t posted since May, 2018 because I didn’t have anything to say.  Bitcoin hit bottom (around $6k) three times since then and seems to be ever so gradually beginning to find a new footing.  Paul Krugman, an intellect I admire and trust, has unfortunately been unable to understand Bitcoin.  He almost systematically refuses to comprehend the advantages of a Bitcoin economy.  In his column, Transaction Costs and Tethers: Why I’m a Crypto Skeptic, NY Times, July 31, he continues to expound upon his misunderstandings.  Lo and behold, the first of the column’s comments comes from Jamie Dimon, CEO of J.P. Morgan, whom you might recall vehemently shouted “Bitcoin was a fraud.” less than a year ago.  His very visible “BUY” is important.  It goes along with other evidence that the cryptocurrency world is about to explode.

We’ve been waiting for the banks to build out the infrastructure they need to be able to profit from crypto.  Until the banks figure out how they can profit from crypto, Bitcoin isn’t moving anywhere, soon.  We’re almost there, now.  For banks to profit from the handling, holding and hawking of Bitcoin several utilities must be put in place.

There needs to be a good, strong, secure, easy-to-manage place for banks to keep customer accounts.  The software that does that is now readily available.  There needs to be ways for brokers to buy and sell cryptocurrencies for their customers profitably.  Speculation also requires additional instruments such as options and futures.  These are now in place, too.  There has to be a general consensus that crypto makes a good investment.  Here, the banks may have done such a good job of putting down crypto that it is not easily undone, at least not  quickly.  That’s where Jamie Dimon’s words become so significant.

Dimon says, in a Paul Krugman blog comment, “Buy Bitcoin, folks.” Krugman is not known for his crypto enthusiasm; quite the contrary to be sure.  He wasn’t asked or pushed to say anything.  Why bother?  Dimon has to undo years of negativity to launch this new banking endeavor.  I read another investment bankers recommendation telling customers, “You should have seven per cent of your portfolio in cryptocurrency.” Times are a changin’.  These are the signs I’ve been waiting to see.  I’ll be writing more about further developments in crypto in the coming days.

Altcoins: Which Are The Best Investment?

toaster
Toaster with an Edison screw fitting, c. 1909

Both Warren Buffet and Paul Krugman believe cryptocurrency, e.g. Bitcoin, is a bubble.  Moreover, these well-respected gurus of the economy and finance say we should expect to see a bad ending.  Sorry to say, they’ve got it wrong.  When and where do cryptocurrencies end? They don’t.

Bitcoin is not a bubble.  Cryptocurrencies will never end.  Taken one at a time, a coin may or may not get the following it needs to thrive.  Some coins will see tremendous support and soar in value.  Still, others may grow and shrink in fits and starts.  But as a basket, you are going to see growth in the never-before-seen-as-an-investment category.  That is where we are at the moment.  New initial coin offerings (ICOs) and token sales are appearing daily.  New currencies are raising tens of millions of dollars in funding in just a few days time.

Having a basket of different cryptocurrencies is a form of diversification within the space, mitigating the risk.  Bitcoin is the most uncorrelated asset there is when compared to the stock market.  That means its movement is unrelated to how the stock market moves.  Fund managers, always looking to diversify, love uncorrelated assets to further reduce risk.  So should you.  Where we are today, however, is at a place where almost any coin with an active development team behind it will go up.  I know how flaky that sounds but I believe you can buy almost any coin and experience large returns in this moment in time.

This is similar to a period of history just after Edison electrified Lower Manhattan.  To supply enough electricity to power his street lighting and then indoor lighting for the Financial District Edison had to patent at least ten new inventions including the dynamo. By the time he had finished, buildings throughout Lower Manhattan were powered by electricity.  Suddenly, all of the ideas that had been floating around for decades that were never taken seriously or mass marketed because they ran on electricity, and electricity wasn’t available, were possible.

There was the idea for fans for moving air, fans for cooling, toasters to bake bread, elevators to lift people, stamping machines for manufacturing, signals for directions and signage, clocks to tell time, clocks to manage industrial processes, illuminated signs at night, musical instruments, mixers in the factory, blenders in the kitchen, washers for clothes, dryers for paint shops, lifts for industry, vacuums, motors, drills, vibrators, and scales for weights and measures, could be electrified and sold, and made available in every office across the city. Bonanza!  Eureka!!! But which idea would sell?  Which would become a viable product?  THEY ALL WOULD!!