Call it what you want, those are — or were — the consensus views over at JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs for much of 2017. Jaime Dimon, JPM’s CEO, famously said Bitcoin was basically for corrupt money launderers and drug dealers. Yesterday, Dimon said he regrets calling bitcoin a fraud. (JPM will try to position itself as a future clearinghouse of sorts for cryptocurrency. Wait for it. Goldman is already setting up a trading desk. This is too legit to quit.)
On Wednesday, Goldman weighed in on the bitcoin debate with a nine-page report to clients titled “Bitcoin as Money.” They’ve caved. Cryptocurrency, with bitcoin at the helm, is going to be even bigger this year than it was in 2017. That doesn’t mean everyone is going to get rich on it. But what it means is, now that the bulge bracket banks are taking it seriously, a rules-based system is likely at least for bitcoin and trading in bitcoin. More companies will allow bitcoin as a form of payment. Expedia already allows users to make travel arrangements in bitcoin.