At a Wall Street Journal-hosted event held Wednesday, September 27, 2017, CEO of Morgan Stanley James Gorman expressed an optimistic view towards cryptocurrencies.
As reported, Gorman's comments are in stark opposition to those made by JPMorgan Chase & Co. head Jamie Dimon. Specifically, Gorman stated that cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and Ether are "certainly something more than just a fad." He went on to say "The concept of anonymous currency is a very interesting concept – interesting for the privacy protections it gives people, interesting because what it says to the central banking system about controlling that.”
On September 12, Dimon had made comparisons between cryptocurrencies and the infamous tulip bulb bubble of the 17th century. He even went so far as to threaten the jobs of any of his employees trading bitcoin, insisting that it was both against the rules and “stupid” to do so. His words sparked outcry from the community and a bit of bewilderment from one Amber Baldet, who happens to be JPMorgan's blockchain lead. Given the fact that JPMorgan is developing its own private blockchain platform, Quorum, many have received Dimon’s outburst with skepticism. The CEO also admitted that, while he denounces bitcoin, he believes blockchain technology can be useful.
Unlike Dimon, Gorman said he has no stake in the current market, whether it is a bubble or not. "I haven’t invested in it,” he explained. “I’ve talked to a lot of people who have. It’s obviously highly speculative but it’s not something that’s inherently bad. It’s a natural consequence of the whole blockchain technology.”
Looking to the future, Gorman ponders what measures regulators (those in China, for instance) may take in an effort to control "monetary flows for money laundering and privacy and capital outflows and all the other reasons."
Gorman is not alone in his sentiment towards the growing cryptocurrency market, as more than a couple billionaires have taken a liking to Ethereum-based crowdfunding efforts. If industry heads follow the lead of these front-runners, ideologies such as those espoused by Dimon may be extinguished.