Earlier this month, JP Morgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon stated that bitcoin was “a fraud” while speaking at a banking conference in New York, and even remarked that the world’s number one cryptocurrency would eventually “be closed.” Now, Swedish bitcoin market-maker Blockswater filed a market abuse report against the banker, for “spreading false and misleading information” about the cryptocurrency.
Blockswater filed the report with the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority against both JP Morgan and its CEO, stating a violation of Article 12 of the European Union’s Market Abuse Regulations (MAR).
The complaint didn’t just state Dimon’s remarks negatively impacted bitcoin’s reputation and value, but also added that the banker “knew, or ought to have known” that the information he spread was “false and misleading.” Florian Schweitzer, a managing partner at the Swedish firm, added:
“Jamie Dimon’s public assertions did not only affect the reputation of bitcoin, they harmed the interests of some of his own clients and many young businesses that are working hard to create a better financial system”
Moreover, to Schweitzer JP Morgan’s purchase of bitcoin derivatives for its clients on Stockholm-based Nasdaq Nordic, after his attack on the cryptocurrency, “smells like market manipulation.”
Did Jamie Dimon manipulate the market?
According to CNBC, Jamie Dimon stated that he would fire any JP Morgan employee trading bitcoin for being against the bank’s rules and for being “stupid.” The banker compared bitcoin to the 17th-century tulip bubble – one of the most well-known in history – adding that bitcoin’s purpose is to be used in impoverished economies, draconian states, or by criminals. He stated:
“If you were in Venezuela or Ecuador or North Korea or a bunch of parts like that, or if you were a drug dealer, a murderer, stuff like that, you are better off doing it in bitcoin than U.S. dollars”
His words led bitcoin’s price to fall by about 24%, and shortly after the fall, JP Morgan purchased about €3 million in bitcoin ETNs. According to JP Morgan spokesman Brian Marchiony, the purchase was on behalf of clients. He stated:
“They are not JPMorgan orders (..)These are clients purchasing third-party products directly.”
Be that as it may, Schweitzer presented her report and asked the Swedish regulator to investigate the case. In the complaint, it’s noted that, in Sweden, market abuse is punishable by up to two years in jail.