Reminded of Dutch Tulip Craze, ECB’s Makhlouf Won’t Buy Bitcoin

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European Central Bank governing council member Gabriel Makhlouf said he wouldn’t buy Bitcoin, comparing investment in the world’s largest cryptocurrency to the 17th century Netherlands tulip craze -- which ended in collapse.

Bitcoin investors need to be prepared to “lose all their money,” Makhlouf said, repeating a warning from last month, though added he’s not advising people whether or not to invest in the digital currency.

“Personally, I wouldn’t put my money into it, but clearly, some people think it’s a good bet,” Makhlouf, who is also governor of Ireland’s central bank, said on Tuesday at a webinar in Dublin. He said while some view Bitcoin an investment, “three hundred years ago, people put money into tulips because they thought it was an investment.”

The token blew through another milestone, surging past $50,000 for the first time on Tuesday, and is up more than 70% this year, as the cryptocurrency continues to captivate investors worldwide.

Bitcoin’s ascent has been buoyed by high-profile endorsements, including a $1.5 billion purchase disclosed by Tesla Inc. earlier this month. Yet a debate continues about the token’s intrinsic value amid warnings that cryptocurrencies remain highly speculative.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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