LONDON – Visa’s chief financial officer has joined a growing list of politicians and financial executives to call cryptocurrencies a bubble.
Vasant Prabhu told the Financial Times in an interview that he believes bitcoin and other digital assets are in a bubble because of the number of unsophisticated investors who have spoken to him about investing in it, including limo drivers, a bank teller, and a young member of his extended family.
Prabhu told the FT: “This is the ultimate thing that you hear about when you have a bubble, when the guy shining your shoes tells you what stock to buy.”
He added that he thought cryptocurrencies were favoured by criminals due to their anonymity and lack of oversight.
“It’s very hard to get dirty money through a banking system,” he said. “Cryptocurrency is phenomenal for all that stuff… Every crook and every dirty politician in the world, I bet, is in cryptocurrency.”
Prabhu’s views are in line with Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, UBS, Goldman Sachs’ investment chief Sharmin Mossavar-Rahmani, and hedge fund Elliott Management. All have expressed scepticism about cryptocurrencies and their price in recent months.
Bitcoin rose over 1,500% against the dollar last year. The initial price bump helped attract huge numbers of new investors to the cryptocurrency market globally, which propelled the price rises further. After peaking at over $20,000 per bitcoin in December, the digital asset has more than halved in value and currently trades around $8,285 as of Friday morning.