Last week, JPMorgan Chase CEO and longtime bitcoin skeptic Jamie Dimon continued to demonstrate his complete ignorance of crypto.
During a CNBC interview, Dimon said the only real use cases for cryptocurrency are money laundering, tax avoidance, and sex trafficking.
He referred to bitcoin as a “pet rock” that “does nothing.” And he laughed at it.
His snide commentary sent me back a decade. That’s because this line of reasoning comes from the old playbook skeptics used against me in 2014.
In February 2014, bitcoin was in the headlines for all the wrong reasons: Mt. Gox. – the world’s largest bitcoin exchange at the time – had collapsed into bankruptcy.
Shortly after, One America News Network invited me to talk about the Mt. Gox collapse on the Rick Amato Show.
At first I thought that’s all I would be doing… talking about the future of bitcoin.
As it turns out, I was ambushed.
What they didn’t tell me was I’d be debating the future of bitcoin with a bitcoin skeptic and (at the time) Republican candidate for governor of California, Andrew Blount, who was live in the studio.
You can see the full interview on my YouTube page here.
Just like Jamie Dimon today, part of Blount’s argument was bitcoin was only good for criminals and illegal drug websites. He went on to say, “It’s [like] a bubble gum wrapper, Rick. It’s not worth a thing.”
I was asked if I shared his pessimism.
I told them, “Bitcoin has become more than just a currency or ‘bubble gum wrapper.’ It’s become an entire online infrastructure… It’s become a parallel monetary system to what we’re all used to today.”
I finished with the point that bitcoin would be around longer than any of us would be alive.
(And so far, I’ve been right. Bitcoin has been around 15 years and counting, after all.)
But there was a question Blount put to me that has forever stuck in my mind. He asked, “What was the last thing you’d bought with a bitcoin?”
At that stage, I hadn’t bought anything with a bitcoin… And I answered as such. It wasn’t easy to buy anything with bitcoin back then.
I chuckled because bitcoin was at such an early stage of its existence. But they chuckled at me. They thought it was all a bit ridiculous… that I was a bit ridiculous.
It stuck with me because I knew bitcoin was headed higher. And I knew that in time, all the skeptics would be proven wrong .
And ever since that day in February 2014, I would make a point to prove it myself.
A Cheeseburger and a Day Care
In October 2017, I was flying back to the U.K. from Australia.
I was transiting through the Dubai airport and had a couple of hours to burn. I needed a walk, so I took a stroll through the shops at the airport.
I was also peckish, so I headed to McDonald’s to grab a cheeseburger, fries, and a Coke.
Fortunately, I was armed with a Wirex crypto debit card. That meant I could pay directly from my bitcoin balance.
One bitcoin was worth about $6,100 at the time, but I didn’t mind clipping a tiny fraction of it to prove the skeptics wrong.
And while it cost me about five bucks in bitcoin then – which would’ve been worth about $50 by November 2021 – I didn’t care. And I still won’t care if one day that cheeseburger cost me $500. Or $5,000.
The point is that I was using crypto to buy something.
Over the years, it’s gotten easier and easier to use crypto – and not just bitcoin anymore – to transact in the real world.
For example, my son recently started at a day care (he calls it “toddler school”) where he hangs out with other toddlers and does toddler things.
I’ve been paying the monthly fees in euros. But recently the staff sent out a message to all the parents who send their kids to the day care.
My wife forwarded me the message:
I can pay for my son’s fees now from any of my Ethereum wallets… or directly from any of my exchange accounts. So I’ll now pay for my son’s day care in crypto.
Now, admittedly, a part of why I’m doing this is to prove the naysayers wrong.
Crypto can be used for all kinds of transactions. But also, it’s a lot easier when you’re dealing in multiple currencies.
If I have British pounds or U.S. dollars in my bank accounts, I need to convert them into euros to pay for day care. That means conversion fees, spreads, and transaction fees.
U.S. dollars, for example, cost me $4.14 to receive a deposit into my account. It then costs me about $3.24 to convert them to euros.
The traditional banking system is full of fees and intermediaries all along the payment trail wanting their cut of the money flow.
With crypto, I just send the necessary amount to the wallet address.
There’s still a transaction fee on Ethereum’s network. But at the time of writing, that’s around 75 cents.
Simply put, it’s easier and cheaper to pay with crypto because there’s only the payer and the payee.
What Does the Next Decade Look Like?
In February 2014, if you’d said to me that within a decade I’d be paying for my youngest son’s day care fees with a crypto called Ethereum or a USDT stablecoin… I might have chuckled, too.
Not at you, but with you in beautiful amazement that the crypto industry had developed to a point where this was a legitimate thing.
That I’d be in a world where I wasn’t sniggered at and looked at strangely for even mentioning the word “crypto.”
This is the world we’re entering now.
Remember, crypto is going up against the might and power of the legacy financial system. Against incumbents like JPMorgan Chase, powerful skeptics like Jamie Dimon, and regulators like Securities and Exchange Commission head honcho Gary Gensler.
Despite the powerful opposition, year after year things get better, innovation and development continue, and the overall crypto industry is legitimized by things like exchange-traded fund approvals and day cares accepting crypto payments.
Fortunately for investors, we’re still early in the game. And the recent pullback in crypto has given those who haven’t started to build their stack an attractive entry price.
(And for those of you who already are in crypto, a chance to continue dollar-cost averaging.)
That’s because there are plenty of bullish catalysts happening now and on the horizon…
Daily editor Teeka Tiwari believes a coming shock will ignite the biggest crypto bull market of all time.
“Friends, the prices ahead of us are going to be awe-inspiring and shocking. We’ll see a bull market for the ages unlike anything we’ve seen before,” he recently said.
Teeka says the coming shock could potentially send hundreds of tiny crypto coins soaring 10x, 50x, or 100x higher – in just days.
Even with bitcoin’s recent pullback, we’ve seen coins like Solana and Bonk skyrocket 585% and an incredible 20,000%, respectively, in just three months.
To help you prepare, he’s revealing his No. 1 FREE crypto investment for 2024 – no strings attached. Click here to get the ticker.
(As a reminder, Teeka’s free picks have an average peak gain of more than 1,000%.)
Even though crypto is becoming mainstream, it’s still a volatile asset. But as I told my debating foe on the Rick Amato Show, bitcoin will outlast us all.
Even today, as we see bitcoin’s price pull back almost 20% from its January high – I’m as optimistic today as I was a decade ago.
My current research suggests that what we’ve seen price-action-wise in 2024 is actually the start of the biggest crypto bull market yet. And it’s why you should take full advantage of the current pullback to position yourself for what comes next.
So ignore the naysayers. They were wrong in 2014. They’re wrong today. And they’ll be wrong again in another decade.
If you can see the bigger picture and use these pullbacks to position yourself in this asset class, you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank as this bull market takes off.
Until next time,
Analyst, Palm Beach Daily