By MARK DECAMBRE
Former J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. trader Daniel Masters has taken a decidedly different stance on digital currencies than his ex-boss Jamie Dimon.
Masters, who runs Global Advisors Bitcoin Investment Trust, told research and data site CoinDesk in a recent interview that digital currencies have the potential to “digitize and tokenize…precious metals, commodities, stocks and bonds,” potentially altering the fabric of Wall Street and leaving industry veterans seriously behind the evolutionary curve.
Masters took an even firmer position against statements made by J.P. Morgan boss Dimon, who had warned of the dangers of digital currencies, saying that “bitcoin will eventually blow up. It’s a fraud. It’s worse than tulip bulbs and won’t end well.”
Masters told CoinDesk, referencing Dimon and J.P. Morgan’s JPM, +0.75% overall position on bitcoin:
|“They either need to get with the program and support their clients who want to buy bitcoin, or they need to stop talking about it like a fool. Because those things are not consistent with an organization of that character.”|
Masters’s remark comes as bitcoin has recovered from a slump in the wake of critical statements from Dimon and other Wall Street digital-currency bears.
A single bitcoin BTCUSD, +1.40% on Tuesday, most recently, was up 2% at $4,869, near its all-time high around $5,000, with a total market value of $81 billion, representing about 52.3% of the total value of a broad swath of cybercurrencies tracked by CoinMarketcap.com. The total market capitalization for those cyber units stood at about $155 billion.
Meanwhile, the second-most popular cryptographic currency, Ether tokens, on the Ethereum blockchain, were was up 1.8% to around $302. Blockchain refers to the publicly distributed ledger on which digital currencies run.
Both bitcoin and Ether were recovering from lows put in mid September. So far, bitcoin has rallied nearly 400% so far in 2017, while Ether tokens have climbed 3,500% year to date. By comparison, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.31%has risen 15.5% so far this year, while the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.23% boasts a nearly 14% year-to-date return.
For his part, Masters is big bitcoin proponent and recently launched his hedge fund GABI, which is intended to offer investors exposure to the emerging asset.