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Press Release
Published January 24, 2018
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UBS chairman warns against bitcoin investment as cryptocurrency falls 12%

Date: January 24, 2018
Categories: Financial Technology, riskregulation, Risk and Regulation, Technology, Transaction Banking
Keywords: UBS, Cryptocurrency

Bitcoin has fallen 12% over 24 hours while the chairman of UBS warned against investing in it and South Korea continued to crack down on cryptocurrencies by banning anonymous trading.

Talking at the Davos world economic forum, UBS Chairman Axel Weber, said that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies were speculative, risky and “not an investment we would advise”.

“Retail clients, who don’t fully understand these products, should be protected from going into these products, because if there is a retail client affected in the future, the question will be again who was the bank that sold them these products and then banks will be blamed again for what has happened,” Weber told CNBC.

UBS’s comments echo those recently made by billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who said he would never invest in cryptocurrency despite bitcoin’s nearly 2,000% rise in 2017.

Consultancy Ernst & Young also warned Monday that so-called initial coin offerings (ICOs), which offer cryptocurrency tokens to raise funds, were at risk of cybercrime. Of the 372 ICOs analysed, raising a total of $3.7bn, roughly $400m had been stolen by hackers, who were taking up to $1.5m in ICO proceeds per month.

Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker from The Guardian