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Fierce Bitcoin Critic Now Has 'Regret'; Kodak Joins Blockchain Wave

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JPMorgan Chase ( JPM ) CEO Jamie Dimon has mellowed out on Bitcoin after vehemently warning against it last year, while Eastman Kodak ( KODK ) became the latest company to pivot to blockchain.

[ibd-display-video id=3072810 width=50 float=left autostart=true] Dimon, a vocal critic of Bitcoin, told Fox Business that "I regret making" a comment last year in which he called Bitcoin a fraud. He did not elaborate.

But he reiterated his view that blockchain, the record-keeping technology behind Bitcoin, is "real." He said that initial coin offerings - a form of cryptocurrency fundraising used by many blockchain startups - had to be looked at "individually."

Dimon in recent months has compared Bitcoin to the Dutch tulip craze in the 1600s, said he would fire any JPMorgan trader caught dealing in the cryptocurrency, and predicted it was bound to implode. He also has said an unregulated currency's prospects for survival are essentially zero, as governments would be unlikely to tolerate one.

"Bitcoin to me was always what the governments are gonna feel about Bitcoin as it gets really big," he told Fox Business, "and I just have a different opinion than other people."

In October, JPMorgan CFO Marianne Lake said the bank was " very open-minded " to digital currencies that were properly regulated.

Bitcoin slipped 1.3% to $14,774.42, according to CoinDesk. Bitcoin futures were off 1% at $14,790 on Cboe ( CBOE ) and dropped 1% to $14,755 on CME ( CME ).

Kodak soared 121% to 6.85 in the stock market today . Long Blockchain ( LBCC ) - formerly known as Long Island Iced Tea Corp., a company that sold iced tea - jumped nearly 20% after saying that it would not go forward with a planned stock offering. Long Blockchain said it was still moving ahead with its plan to buy equipment to be used in the mining of cryptocurrency. Long Blockchain still maintains a business that sells drinks.

Riot Blockchain (RIOT), once exclusively a biotech firm, on Tuesday said it "has established" Digital Green Energy Corp. as a wholly-owned subsidiary to identify "environmentally friendly projects with large energy capacity and a cost-efficient rate for cryptocurrency mining and data center operations." Shares climbed 2.6%.

JPMorgan, which reports Q4 results Friday, rose 0.7%, and Goldman Sachs (GS), which is reportedly is setting up a digital currency trading desk, added 0.85%.

IBD'S TAKE : Are Bitcoin, Ethereum and other digital currencies a speculator's game? Individual investors should be extremely cautious about diving into this new area. Read this feature about Bitcoin risks and potential gains .

Meanwhile, worries continued to mount over the volatile cryptocurrency, whose value has heaved higher in recent months and raised concerns of an epic collapse.

Two companies - Rafferty Asset Management and Exchange Traded Concepts - have canceled plans to launch three Bitcoin exchange traded funds, according to Reuters , after the SEC "expressed concerns regarding the liquidity and valuation" of futures contracts tied to the currency.

The frenzy surrounding Bitcoin has also drawn more attention to blockchain, with an increasing number of what one analyst called " blockchain pretenders " looking to ride the trend's coattails by adding "blockchain" to their name or abruptly shifting operations to focus on the technology.


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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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