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Banker Dimon ‘Doesn’t Understand’ Bitcoin, Lawyer Says

Jan. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s chief executive officer, is wrong to predict that regulation will end the digital currency business, said a lawyer for a group that lobbies for the Bitcoin business.

“That just shows he doesn’t understand it,” the Bitcoin Foundation’s lawyer, Patrick Murck, told Bloomberg Television’s Emily Chang today. “It can be useful and fit into the current regulatory environment at a much lower fee structure than the credit card industry and traditional payment methods.”

Dimon, who runs the largest U.S. bank, said in a Jan. 23 interview on CNBC that Bitcoin “will eventually be made as a payment system, I think, to follow the same standards as the other payment systems, and that will probably be the end of them.”

The Bitcoin market is being targeted by regulators. Two Bitcoin exchangers were charged by Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara with selling the virtual currency to users of the Silk Road online bazaar, allowing them to buy and sell illegal drugs anonymously.

Charlie Shrem, the chief executive officer of exchange company BitInstant, stepped down yesterday as vice chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation after he was charged with conspiring to launder $1 million in the virtual currency, the latest allegations tied to Silk Road. Also charged was Robert Faiella, accused of being an underground Bitcoin exchanger tied to Silk Road.

To contact the reporter on this story: Linda Sandler in New York at lsandler@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Dunn at adunn8@bloomberg.net

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