Jamie is up against James. Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman is unsure where the prices of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will be in the next few days, but he does know one thing. “It’s not a fad…not it’s going away,” he told CNBC on Thursday, alluding to the embryonic cryptocurrency market while discussing the investment bank’s third-quarter results.
Gorman’s approach to bitcoin and Ether on the Ethereum blockchain differs significantly from that of his JPMorgan Chase & Co. equivalent.
Previously this week, Jamie Dimon gave what has become a fairly routine response to questions regarding cryptocurrency. “I personally believe bitcoin is worthless,” stated JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon during a brief appearance at the annual Institute of International Finance event.
Gorman of Morgan Stanley isn’t making a full-throated bitcoin and crypto rally cry, but he is implying that digital assets may be more than just a passing fad despite the pomp and bluster that sometimes accompanies them.
With bitcoin approaching a new high of around $60,000 and companies and investors trying to figure out whether and/or how the asset fits into a balance sheet in an investment portfolio, Gorman offered a fairly levelheaded assessment of virtual currencies that have increasingly gained mainstream appeal.
“Nobody’s putting 10% of their portfolio into it,” Gorman said of his recent observations of client behaviour. He told the business network that while it isn’t a major part of their diversification plan, “it is an alternative” that they are considering.
Morgan Stanley was one of the first banks to allow qualifying clients access to cryptocurrency early this year.
JP Morgan is also offering some cryptocurrency (and has even created its own interbank digital currency), but the CEO’s hesitant acceptance of the rise of digital assets has put many crypto bulls off.
“Our clients are adults…so, if they want to have access to buy yourself bitcoin, we can’t custody it, but we could give them legitimately, as clean as possible, access,” said Dimon.
Traditional markets, such as the 10-year Treasury note, the Dow Jones Industrial Regular, the S&P 500 index, and the Nasdaq Composite Index, continue to be the go-to investing locations for average investors, according to Gorman.