On Nov 20, 2020, the market cap of Bitcoin rose above the market cap of JP Morgan Chase, the world’s largest public bank. Though it dropped back to number two on Nov 21, BTC’s quiet rise has enraptured the financial world.
JP Morgan v Bitcoin
JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon has had a complicated relationship with Bitcoin. Since 2017, when Dimon claimed that Bitcoin was a fraud, much has changed at JP Morgan.
More recently, JP Morgan launched its own cryptocurrency and invested in ConsenSys. Though Dimon proclaimed on Nov 18, 2020 that Bitcoin is still, “not my cup of tea,” Bitcoin parried with its massive rise to near all time highs. Bitcoin, which itself is flirting not only with all time highs, but also with highest monthly closes, briefly overtook JP Morgan by market capitalization.
JP Morgan is America’s largest bank, rivaled by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China in size. With a market cap of about $350 billion, JPMorgan is #17 of the Fortune 500 list of the largest US companies, just ahead of General Motors.
So when the market capitalization of Bitcoin surpassed JP Morgan at about $351 billion this weekend, it turned some heads. Bitcoin seems to be getting unprecedented interest from large wall street players and banks.
Crypto is FUNdamnetal
At the same time, the current crypto bull-run has arguably more fundamentals behind it than the one in 2017. The industry is more solid, the security more proven, the companies more transparent, and the backers better-known.
Someone explain to Jamie Dimon that Bitcoin doesn’t care what he thinks https://t.co/NiGKnyQPcF— Pomp
(@APompliano) November 18, 2020
There are a few of possibilities fueling this current bull run. One theory is the growing understanding of Bitcoin as a replacement for gold. With the potential for huge post-stimulus inflation, US companies are seeking assets that will hold their own against rising prices.
Another possibility is the future of Bitcoin in the eyes of the law. In the United States, outgoing SEC Chairman Jay Clayton has clarified that Bitcoin is a store of value and not a security, a status that could make it more attractive to tax-conscious companies.
While this does not make Bitcoin an official “bank”, the cryptocurrency is still a financial instrument with more value parked in it than almost anything aside from gold.
With DeFi making an unbanked world a real possibility, cryptocurrencies continue to hold their own against traditional financial systems.