JP Morgan Analyst: Futures In Cryptocurrency Markets Add To Legitimacy

Managing director for global market strategy at JP Morgan Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou's perspective on cryptocurrency seems to contradict that of the company's CEO, Jamie Dimon.

Dimon has spoken of the merits of blockchain technology yet insists that bitcoin is a fraud. By comparison, Panigirtzoglou believes that cryptocurrencies might emerge as a new asset class and is gaining legitimacy thanks to the introduction of derivative contracts by established exchanges, which include LedgerX, Nasdaq, Canter Fitzgerald, CME Group, and CBOE.

According to Panigirtzoglou, "The prospective launch of bitcoin futures contracts by established exchanges in particular has the potential to add legitimacy and thus increase the appeal of the cryptocurrency market to both retail and institutional investors."

He added:

"In all, the prospective introduction of bitcoin futures has the potential to elevate cryptocurrencies to an emerging asset class. The value of this new asset class is a function of the breadth of its acceptance as a store of wealth and as a means of payment and simply judging by other stores of wealth such as gold, cryptocurrencies have the potential to grow further from here."

Conversely, Dimon expressed his less-than-positive take on bitcoin in September 2017, making correlations between the emerging cryptocurrency and the oft-referenced tulip bulb bubble of the 17th century. While it remains to be seen if the conflict between CEO and analyst results in Panigirtzoglou clearing out his desk, the price of bitcoin has surged to more than double in value since Dimon made those comments, reaching $11,906 per BTC at press time.

Regardless of Dimon's opinions, JP Morgan has been an active player in the blockchain ecosystem, having developed a private Ethereum-based platform known as Quorum and, earlier this year, requested privacy guidance from the Zcash team for the blockchain. The institution was also a founding member of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, a massive consortium dedicated to streamlining business adoption of blockchain technology.