Bitcoin is a speculative asset and people who invest in it do so at their own risk, the Bank of France Governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau warned on Friday (last week) after recent volatile trading.
“We need to be clear: bitcoin is in no way a currency, or even a cryptocurrency,” Villeroy said in remarks made at a conference in Beijing, according to the Bank of France, quoted by Reuters.
“It is a speculative asset. Its value and extreme volatility have no economic basis, and they are nobody’s responsibility. The Bank of France reminds those investing in bitcoin that they do so entirely at their own risk,” he added.
Bitcoin hovered around $9,600 in volatile trade on Friday, after tumbling about 15 percent from an all-time high hit this week as some money managers warned ominously of a bubble and further falls.
As shown in the chart below, Bitcoin price has increased from $ 700 to $11.700 in the last 12 months.
The chairman of France’s market regulator denounced bitcoin as a “dangerous illusion” and a tool for criminals, siding firmly against the cryptocurrency as its value climbed further past $11,000.
“It’s a way to purchase illicit goods, it’s a way to launder illicit income, it’s a way to develop and pay for cybercrimes and it’s a pure empty commodity,” Robert Ophele, chairman of the Autorite des Marches Financiers, said in a Bloomberg Television interview from Tokyo Monday. “If it were a currency, it would be a very bad one.”
Ophele said he isn’t sure he’d want to regulate bitcoin because it has no link to the real economy. Authorities and banks worldwide are grappling with how to treat the cryptocurrency, which has surged more than 10 times this year on growing speculation that it will find a lasting role in the financial system.
“It’s a challenge for central bankers and for financial supervisors,” said Ophele. “It’s an unregulated market and I should say it’s a dangerous illusion.”