Bitcoin 'could cause the next financial crash'
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Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies could cause the next financial crash, according to a top Bank of England official, Britain’s Daily Mail reports.
Deputy Governor Sir Jon Cunliffe said a massive collapse in the price of cryptocurrencies to as low as zero is “certainly a plausible scenario” and that there was “a possibility of contagion” across the global financial sector.
According to the report, Cunliffe said the hit to individual investors if cryptocurrencies collapse would be unlikely to cause a “financial stability risk”. But he added: “The picture is less clear for financial institutions.”
He compared a possible crypto crash with other financial meltdowns, and highlighted that the crypto market is now worth £1.7 trillion (R34 trillion), larger than the subprime mortgage market in 2008 when it collapsed.
“As the financial crisis showed us, you don't have to account for a large proportion of the financial sector to trigger financial stability problems,” Cunliffe said.
He said regulation of cryptocurrency “needs to be pursued as a matter of urgency”.
“When something in the financial system is growing very fast, in a largely unregulated space, financial stability authorities have to take notice.”
The value of the cryptocurrency market has increased by 200% this year.