A European Central Bank governing council member said bitcoin investors should be prepared to lose their entire investment, the latest such warning from a central banker about cryptocurrency volatility.
“As the UK authority said a few weeks ago, if people want to invest in bitcoin, they have to be prepared to lose all their money â€“ that’s certainly my view, ” said Gabriel Makhlouf, a governing council member of the ECB, on Bloomberg TV on Friday.
Earlier this month, the UK financial regulator also said bitcoin investors could well “lose all their money.” Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are “high-risk, speculative investments,” and should be treated as such, the regulator said at the time.Â
“If consumers invest in these types of product, they should be prepared to lose all their money,” the Financial Conduct Authority said in a January 11 statement.Â Â
That sentiment was shared on Friday by Makhlouf, who has also been governor of the Central Bank of Ireland since 2019.
ECB members have often urged investors to use caution when buying and holding cryptocurrency. In 2018, for example, Yves Mersch, a member of the executive board, said bitcoin was “far inferior to existing payment options.”
As bitcoin surged to new all-time highs in mid-January, ECB President Christine Lagarde called for additional regulation on such assets.
She said bitcoin is not a currency, but is instead a “highly speculative asset which has conducted some funny business and some interesting and totally reprehensible money laundering activity.”Â
The following day, bitcoin rallied above $40,000 for the first time.
It’s since fallen to by more than 7%, trading at about $32,770 on Sunday afternoon. Some analysts have said the cryptocurrency could be the next “great tech stock,” growing over the next decade the way Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google grew in the last few years.Â
Read more:Â This day trader just made the biggest trade of his career exploiting the momentum around bitcoin. Here’s how he did it â€” and his 4-step strategy for identifying speculative themes to trade.
On Friday, Makhlouf urged fellow central bank administrators to keep a close eye on cryptocurrency, especially “in their regulatory role.”Â
He said: “Personally, I’m not sure why people invest in those sorts of assets, but they see them as assets clearly, and they see them as investments. Our role is to make sure that consumers are protected.”Â
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