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How the wealthy learned to love crypto

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High net-worth individuals once eschewed cryptocurrencies. When Covid hit, many learned to embrace them. They see the danger of endless QE and the returns to be generated in the world of decentralized finance.



When the book is written on bitcoin, blockchain and the world of decentralized finance or ‘DeFi’, two events will matter above most others.

The first took place in October 2020, when American hedge fund billionaire Paul Tudor Jones described bitcoin as “the best inflation trade” around, just as a fear of rising prices began to bite. The day before he said it the token was trading at $11,936. A month later it was at $18,591. Within six months it topped $60,000.

The second involves Jamie Dimon. JPMorgan’s chief executive is not a crypto believer. He has called bitcoin a “fraud” and “not a real thing” and is on record predicting it will be shut down for good one day.

Yet in August 2021 the US bank he runs did an about-face. For the first time it allowed its wealth management clients to access six crypto funds, including a new bitcoin fund created in lockstep with technology and financial services firm NYDIG.

Dimon



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Elliot Wilson is Greater China Editor and Private Banking and Wealth Management Editor. He joined the magazine in 2020 having been a regular contributor focusing on China and the Indian subcontinent, Russia and Eastern Europe/the CIS. He is based in Hong Kong.
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