An internal report on cryptocurrencies by JP Morgan has surprised many observers as it flies in the face of widespread perceptions of the financial powerhouse’s attitude towards virtual currencies. More than a just grudging acknowledgment of digital coins’ presence in the here and now, it seems almost positive in its summary and future predictions.
Was Dimon’s Apology Just an Olive Branch?
The formal banking sector was always expected to clash with cryptocurrencies from the start. If cryptocurrencies succeed, it has always been assumed that it will only be a matter of time before institutions like JP Morgan vanish. It appears, however, that things are not so black and white after all.
While in 2017 the bank’s CEO Jamie Dimon famously called Bitcoin a “fraud,” his subsequent apology might now be seen in a different light. And now it appears that not only Dimon himself has crossed the Rubicon, but JP Morgan as a whole. The internal report is a tacit acknowledgment that virtual currencies are here to stay and that the traditional banking sector has at least sufficient wiles not to be left behind.
Although still visibly anti-cryptocurrency – the bank has banned the use of company credit cards for the purchase of cryptocurrencies – the leaked JP Morgan report recognizes the value of blockchain technology and the reality of virtual currencies.
With market caps in the billions, digital coins are a sparkling presence. It remains to be seen how JP Morgan and others will marry themselves into the action, but the report seems to be an initial, concrete step towards an acceptance of a fast-changing world.
Mentioning Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, Cardano and others in the report, it’s the reading between the lines that has startled cynics. It is clear that JP Morgan and the formal banking sector by implication has current and extensive knowledge of the technology as a whole.
Far from sticking their head in the sand, they have been keeping abreast of the market phenomenon on all fronts, albeit with limited enthusiasm at times. The report comes as a popular JP Morgan analyst is calling for steady hands following the recent bloodletting on the S&P 500 and Dow Jones. Although likely coincidental, the official internal opinion on digital currencies remains the first positive appraisal from the bank.
While the report acknowledged that volatility is likely to continue in cryptocurrencies across the spectrum, it was confident that as ecosystems grew and meshed and developers forked to iron out issues with virtual currencies, digital currencies would settle into a valuable reality very soon.
Although not on a par with the purely affirmatory voice of other big hitters like the Winklevoss twins, the report is in stark contrast to both previous public statements from the company as well as popular perceptions of JP Morgan. It remains to be seen whether the coin-enthused public soften in their appraisal of JP Morgan once the report’s contents filter down.
Technical Analysis Worth Listening to
While the report is not widely available, it contains an interesting appraisal of cryptocurrencies. Interesting in that it comes from the largest bank in America, quite accustomed to evaluating assets worth billions of dollars.
JP Morgan is the world’s sixth largest bank, with assets over $2.5 trillion. The report anticipates continued market uptake on both blockchain technology and the currencies it supports. It also contains kudos for developers and peer to peer networks, while bluntly acknowledging the appeal that some decentralized and anonymous coins have for consumers.
The report is seen as an almost welcome-to-the-club nod towards cryptocurrencies. In spite of Bitcoin’s recent slump and the potential for often extreme volatility in these markets, it appears that JP Morgan is at least acknowledging that digital coins as a phenomenon are now too big to ever fail.
A healthy and vocal contingent of HODL traders has always been a given with cryptocurrencies, unlike almost any other asset before them. Although delirious enthusiasm for stocks that subsequently went bust is nothing new, the core value of blockchain and digital coins has engendered an almost religious zeal among traders who insist on their inherent value. Bitcoin stands at $8,534 February 13, 2018, as it currently continues a slow climb back towards previous highs.
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