It may surprise some people to learn that JPMorgan Chase is invested in the blockchain. Umar Farooq, a banker turned blockchain leader at JPMorgan, discussed how the bank is using the blockchain and didn’t shy away from bitcoin. He was speaking at the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit for Crypto in New York earlier this week. He spoke of “active engagement” with blockchain internally, as teams from across the bank’s operations are increasingly looking to distributed ledger technology as a possible solution to problems. Farooq’s at the head of that business, and he’s more open-minded about bitcoin than you might think. He said that while the industry may say blockchain’s good and bitcoin’s bad, that’s now how JPMorgan, the top US bank based on assets, sees the world. “We all believe in blockchain good. I wouldn’t go as far to say cryptocurrencies bad. I would say and cryptocurrencies have issues.”
At CCN we have been following the Kodak story – a once monolithic print photography company that has struggled to adapt to the digital world. The announcement that the brand was turning to blockchain with KODAKCoin, which aims to protect photographers’ digital rights utilizing immutable distributed ledger technology, swept through the crypto space. Despite the ICO’s early wobbles,
when the coin finally launched it tripled from its ICO price, leaving initial investors pleased and observers optimistic regarding the company’s transformed future. However, investment research firm Kerrisdale Capital this week has released a crippling 22-page indictment on the project. Referring to the company as a “dying relic of American manufacturing”, (KODAK went bankrupt in 2013),
Kerrisdale sees the $300m ICO as a cash grab that “will never deliver promised benefits”.
The activist investor won’t go near bitcoin for three reasons. Carl Icahn in an
interview with CNBC expressed his distaste for cryptocurrencies, calling them
“ridiculous,” but unlike others who were quick to write digital coins off, he
admitted that in this case, the problem may lie with him. In true curmudgeon
style coupled with a dose of self-deprecation, he pointed to limited
understanding and old age as two of the key reasons he’s on the sidelines.
“Maybe I’m too old for them, but I wouldn’t touch that stuff,” he quipped.
Separately, Warren Buffett, who similarly will only invest in companies whose
business models he understands, doesn’t predict a happy ending for
cryptocurrencies. Though these baby boomers aren’t buying, the millennial
generation would increasingly choose bitcoin over other asset classes.
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While speaking to CNBC at the Milken Institute’s MENA Summit in Abu Dhabi, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, better known as the Winklevoss twins, took a dig at the older generation of the financial community who mostly criticizes cryptocurrencies, stating that they don’t understand the future of money. The Winklevoss twins were asked to respond to criticism leveled by Wall Street personalities, including legendary investor Warren Buffett, who stated bitcoin was a “real bubble,” and JP Morgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon, who claimed the flagship cryptocurrency was a “fraud.” The twins had previously addressed Dimon’s comments. As reported by CCN, they dared the CEO to short bitcoin, since he believed the market was going to fail in the long run. DImon has since revealed he regrets his bitcoin ‘fraud’ remark, although he remains uninterested in the cryptocurrency.