Remember when Jamie Dimon called bitcoin “a fraud” a week ago? Well, it turns out that the JPMorgan chief executive could have been flouting European market abuse laws by shooting his mouth off. At least, that’s what one complaint to the Swedish financial regulator alleges.
The complaint was lodged by Florian Schweitzer, the managing partner of a London firm called Blockswater, a bitcoin market-maker that trades about $25 million a month. At issue is an alleged link between Dimon’s comments and, a few days later, JPMorgan emerging as one of the most active buyers of a bitcoin tracker fund called Bitcoin XBT. Bitcoin XBT is an exchange-traded note that’s listed on Nasdaq Nordic in Stockholm. It effectively lets clients hold bitcoin without worrying about how to store it securely.
The price of bitcoin fell as much as 24% between the day Dimon verbally thrashed it and the day of the XBT trades. Widely followed finance blog Zero Hedge seized on this and accused JP Morgan of either buying bitcoin on the cheap for itself, or helping its clients do so.