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‘Bitcoin price is pure speculation’ Bank of Austria chief attacks popular cryptocurrency

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Kurt Pribil did not mince his words when he explained his theory as to why many banks have taken a hardline stance against cryptocurrencies and bitcoin in particular.

The banking chief explained his “unambiguous position”, underlining that the way he sees it, cryptocurrencies have no inherent value behind them.

Mr Pribil said: “Bitcoin etc. are by no means currencies, because there is definitely no real value.

“These so-called cryptocurrencies are pure speculative objects.”

Bitcoin prices were up on Saturday, bouncing back after plunging below $6,000 for the first time in months.

The token opened at $8,689.84 and has so far maintained a stable price level as of 2.31pm GMT, according to the CoinDesk price tracker.

In the wake of the February price crash, crypto traders and investors have speculated whether or not the so-called bitcoin bubble had begun to burst.

But Mr Pribil was not entirely convinced this was the case, though he admitted such a scenario is still a possibility.

The banking chief said: “Currently, prices are falling sharply, we cannot say whether the bubble will burst. But the danger exists.

“Shares and bonds are also volatile, but there are values behind them – there is only greed and the principle of hope behind bitcoin.

“As far as blockchain technology is concerned, there could be areas of application, for example in land register transfers or in the area of securities settlements.

“But we do not see this for payments and, above all, bulk payments.”

Mr Pribil also expressed his concerns about the technical limitations of the virtual token’s use as a currency.

At around 300,000 to 400,000 transactions a day, the banker said he was sceptical bitcoin could be used for bulk payments.

World leaders are now set to convene at the upcoming G20 summit to discuss monetary policies involving cryptocurrencies.

The Finance Minster and Central Bank Governors of France and Germany have requested the talks to take centerstage.

In a letter to the hosting Finance Minister of Argentina, the French and German officials said: “We believe there may be new opportunities arising from the tokens and the technologies behind them.

“However, tokens could pose substantial risks for investors and can be vulnerable to financial crime without appropriate measures.

“In the longer run, potential risks in the field of financial stability may emerge as well.”

Bitcoin soared to unprecedented crypto heights in 2017, when the token peaked in mid-December at $20,000.

Source:www.express.co.uk