Jamie Dimon doesn’t care if Bitcoin hit a record high, but will defend people’s right to buy it like he’ll defend your right to smoke a cigarette

A Bitcoin frenzy has pushed the price of the cryptocurrency above $72,000 to a record high, but even that isn’t enough to convince JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon of its value.

Over the past month the price of the digital currency has surged more than 40%, prompting bullish backers to hail the end of the so-called crypto winter.

But Dimon, a long-time critic of the asset, continued to distance himself from the volatile currency at the Australian Financial Review business summit held in Sydney this week.

Appearing via video link from New York, Dimon discussed everything from the upcoming elections to how—and when—Fed chairman Jerome Powell should begin to ease rates. And while the highest paid CEO on Wall Street had some tough love for politicians and Fed bosses alike, he spared no time in blasting Bitcoin and some of its alleged users.

Its rocketing price should actually prompt investors to pause, Dimon said, as it hints that the likes of Bitcoin and gold may be seeing a bubble which bullish buyers want to ignore. “I’m not so sure the world is that safe, or a risk-free place,” he added.

The man paid $36 million for his work in 2023 also doubled down on the opinion that Bitcoin is being used for illegal activity—having also previously said the currency is being used for money laundering, fraud, tax avoidance, or as payment for sex trafficking.

Despite these concerns about the asset Dimon defines as a “pet rock,” he told the Australian audience he would still defend people’s right to purchase the assets if they wish.

“I defend your right to smoke a cigarette, [and] I’ll defend your right to buy a Bitcoin,” he said, per the Financial Review. “I will personally never buy Bitcoin and I do think it’s a risk if you are a buyer. When governments look at all this stuff, why do they put up with it?”

Bitcoin’s price tag has indeed had a choppy history, to put it mildly. From 2011 to 2013, the price of the cryptocurrency rose, and then fell in 2014 with the collapse of one of the earliest Bitcoin exchanges, Mt. Gox, which went bankrupt after hackers made off with hundreds of millions in customer funds.

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