While His Kids Mock Him on Bitcoin, CEO Sees Crackdown

(Bloomberg) -- One of Europe’s longest-serving bank chiefs isn’t a bitcoin believer.

Andreas Treichl, the 65-year-old chief executive officer of Austria’s biggest lender, Erste Group Bank AG, says that his kids think he’s “really stupid” when it comes to cryptocurrencies. “They think they could have made a lot of money and I didn’t allow them to invest in it,” Treichl said in an interview with Bloomberg Television.

Treichl is convinced central banks will ultimately crack down on bitcoin, which soared toward $11,000 this week, and other digital currencies that are outside their monetary framework.

“It’s fascinating, but it will make central banks lose control, and they are not going to let this happen,” said Treichl, who became Erste’s CEO in 1997. “At some point in time, maybe at $20,000, $25,000, $30,000, somebody will say ‘Stop!’”

Bitcoin rallied as much as 20 percent from its Wednesday low today, easing concern that an abrupt selloff in the cryptocurrency might spiral into something deeper. The digital currency climbed as high as $10,787.99 in Asian trading hours, after touching a nadir of $9,009.15, according to prices compiled by Bloomberg.

Treichl’s compatriot, Austrian central bank Governor Ewald Nowotny, has called bitcoin “dangerous and deeply dubious,” and has suggested curbs on cryptocurrencies or initial coin offerings.

©2017 Bloomberg L.P.