Bitcoin is ‘speculation of the highest order’ and should be banned, says billionaire investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala | Currency News | Financial and Business News


Billionaire investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala joined the chorus of bitcoin bulls on Tuesday, saying in an interview that regulators should crack down on the popular cryptocurrency. 

« I think it’s speculation of the highest order. I don’t want to join every party in town. I think the hangover is much worse, » he told CNBC. « I will never buy bitcoin in my life. »

Jhunjhunwala, sometimes referred to as India’s Warren Buffet, also said that regulators in India should take a stand.

The Indian government has yet to implement laws on cryptocurrencies, but in an upcoming session, members of the parliament are said to be considering banning « private cryptocurrencies. » This will make India one of the few countries in the world to do so. There is also speculation that the Indian government plans to create its own national cryptocurrency

« I think regulators should step in and ban bitcoin, » said Jhunjhunwala, who is also a partner at Rare Enterprises, a privately owned stock trading firm. « And they should focus on the digital rupee. »

Apart from using bitcoin as a hedge against inflation, many investors also see it as a a future method of transacting. But the billionaire says the volatility of the digital asset will make this difficult.

« Something that fluctuates 5% a day, 10% a day, cant be a currency, » the billionaire said. « The power to issue currencies… should only be with the state. » 

On Monday, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen also cast doubt on the utility of bitcoin as a payment method.

« I don’t think that bitcoin is widely used as a transaction mechanism, » Yellen told the DealBook DC Policy Project. « It’s an extremely inefficient way of conducting transactions and the amount of energy that’s consumed in processing those transactions is staggering. »

Bitcoin staged an epic rally in February before slumping at the start of this week. The token breached the $58,000-level on Sunday, while it hit a $1 trillion market capitalization for the first time last Friday.