Lloyd Blankfein, former CEO of banking giant Goldman Sachs has changed his tune on crypto after previously dismissing in the years prior.
Noting a blossoming ecosystem in the crypto space, Blankfein told CNBC in an interview that while digital assets have been hard to wrap his head around, he’s recently decided to be more “pragmatic” about them.
“I remember when a couple of decades ago, thirty years ago, maybe more… they were auctioning of bandwidth for cellphones, and I’m thinking ‘Why would anyone want to carry around a phone?’ I mean there’s tens of thousands of phone booths around the country, at that time they were like backpacks. Well, guess what? That worked.
The point I take is, I can’t predict the future but I think it’s a big thing to be able to predict the present, like ‘what is happening?’ And I look at the crypto and it is happening, and so again, as an intellectual matter I can’t think differently but as a pragmatist and someone who’s skeptical not only of the market but skeptical of my own views and trying to get on board and acknowledge things… Strange things that I think are strange actually happen.”
Blankfein referred to Bitcoin as a “bubble” in 2017, and as recently as January 2021, warned that regulation would bring the crypto markets crashing down. Now, Blankfein says that while the crypto markets have “lost a lot of value,” they still have “trillions of dollars of value contributing to it and a whole ecosystem growing around it.”
“Of course, we have the benefits of instantaneous transfer and so reduction of credit risk and all the benefits of blockchain… I may be skeptical but I’m also pragmatic about it and so guess what? I would want to have an oar in that water.”
While Blankfein has taken a more open-minded stance on crypto, current JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon maintains his well-known critical stance.
“Cryptocurrency has no intrinsic value,” Dimon told CBS in November. “You are basically buying a token.
.. there’s so much speculation taking place in stocks and securities and crypto and stuff like that. I would be very careful,” he said.