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As bitcoin surges, Coutts warns of a "gold rush"

City A.M. Friday, 13 October 2017 ()
As bitcoin surges, Coutts warns of a "gold rush"The Queen's bank has warned investors of a "gold rush" in cryptocurrencies as it said there were too many uncertainties for it to include bitcoin or other digital currencies in its investment strategy.

More investors have started to take an interest in cryptocurrencies after bitcoin's price broke through the $5,000 barrier yesterday and continued rising today.

However, there remains an air of scepticism as some point to signs of a bubble. 

Coutts' multi-asset investment manager Monique Wong today noted that the reach of bitcoin was spreading as more retailers accept it as a form of payment and rapid price increases help raise its profile, but Wong said investors shouldn't mistake these "ephemeral characteristics" as a strong investment case.

"At Coutts we base investment decisions on fundamental data, and bitcoins do not possess the metrics we would look for to gauge its underlying value. As far as we can see, these returns are based on pure speculation about their future potential, with no hard data to back it up," Wong said.(Source: Coutts)

Despite criticism of bitcoin, Wong said Coutts was excited about how blockchain, the underlying technology of cryptocurrencies, could change the world of finance.

"In our view the development of blockchain technology is a far more interesting area to watch than the current gold rush on cryptocurrencies," Wong said.

"This new technology has the potential to disrupt any field where there’s the need for secure, transferable records. For us, this is where the real story of bitcoin begins."

*Read more*: Is bitcoin on its way to $6,000? The cryptocurrency's hit yet another high
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