‘Prepare to lose all your money’ — regulator’s blunt warning on bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies

The U.K.’s financial regulator on Monday issued a very blunt warning about the rise of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.


“If consumers invest in these types of product, they should be prepared to lose all their money.”


— U.K. Financial Conduct Authority

The warning was prompted by firms “offering investments in cryptoassets, or lending or investments linked to cryptoassets, that promise high returns,” the Financial Conduct Authority said.

The regulator said it had five concerns: Consumer protection, price volatility, product complexity, charges and fees, and marketing materials. “There is no guarantee that cryptoassets can be converted back into cash. Converting a cryptoasset back to cash depends on demand and supply existing in the market,” the regulator said.

The market cap of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies topped $1 trillion last week, according to CoinDesk. Bitcoin
BTCUSD,
-0.13%

over the last 12 months has gained 330%.

Bitcoin, ethereum
ETHUSD,
-1.18%

and other cryptocurrencies tumbled on Monday, with double-digit percentage declines.

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