18 December 2017

UK bank regulator compares buying Bitcoin to gambling

The head of one of Britain's leading financial regulators has warned people to be ready to "lose all their money" if they invest in Bitcoin.

Andrew Bailey, head of the Financial Conduct Authority, told the BBC that neither central banks nor the government stood behind the "currency" and therefore it was not a secure investment.

Buying Bitcoin, he said, was similar to gambling - and had the same level of risk.

"It's not a currency, it's actually not regulated in its Bitcoin form," Mr Bailey told me in an interview for Newsnight.

"It's a very volatile commodity in terms of its pricing.

"If you look at what has happened this year, I would caution people.

"We know relatively little about what informs the price of Bitcoin.

"It's an odd commodity as well, as the supply is fixed.

"If you want to invest in Bitcoin be prepared to lose your money - that would be my serious warning."

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