Japan's Central Bank Wants You to Be Wary of Cryptocurrencies

(Bloomberg) -- Bitcoin investing is popular in Japan, but the nation has also had several high-profile cryptocurrency heists. Now, the central bank has come up with a rather negative Q&A for those seeking answers on cryptos.

The page is called “Let’s think about cryptocurrencies!" and was released on a financial education site run by the Bank of Japan. It’s broadly aimed at the general public and includes questions about whether cryptocurrencies can be considered money, whether you can profit off them, and whether it’s likely they will be stolen again.

As bitcoin closed out a dismal quarter, the BOJ raising awareness about crypto risks is unlikely to cheer market bulls. BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda has previously expressed apprehension about them, and the finance ministers and central bank governors of the Group of 20 nations last month warned that cryptos could destabilize financial markets.

The BOJ’s Q&A, published last week, gives a basic overview of cryptocurrencies, explaining how they’re different from traditional currencies, notes there’s no central bank to back them up, and details how you won’t necessarily profit from investing in them.

One question in the crypto Q&A page asks “Shouldn’t we ban something we don’t really understand?” In response, the central bank says that cryptos have yet to truly fulfill the goals of their creators, but concedes that if the technology advances enough, there’s still a possibility they could create a new system that dramatically improves people’s lives.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.