As Bloomberg recalls in a story about how banks are preparing to confront the thorny regulatory issues related to dealing in bitcoin and other digital currencies, on the same day Dimon trashed bitcoin, calling it a "fraud," his firm's private bank hosted a panel featuring cryptocurrency investors, and even helped some wealthy clients transact in a bitcoin exchange-traded product listed in Stockholm, raising questions about whether the bank violated its fiduciary duty in doing so.
Dimon isn't the only one of his peers to harbor reservations about bitcoin. Bridgewater Associates' Ray Dalio and BlackRock's Larry Fink have criticized it as a "bubble" and a "a tool used by criminals." Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman defended bitcoin, arguing that it is "more than just a fad."
But with clients demanding bitcoin exposure in greater numbers, banks have little choice but to assent to their demands, like JPM did. Goldman's tentative embrace of bitcoin has so far also been the most ambitious, with the firm saying it is considering opening a bitcoin-trading business that would function like an interdealer broker for exchanges and large players.