The president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta needs just three words to convey his opinion on investing in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies: “Don’t do it!”
Raphael Bostic, who has led the Atlanta branch of the Fed since 2017, delivered this message on Tuesday at the Hope Global Forums annual meeting, which promotes entrepreneurship and financial inclusion.
“Don’t do it,’’ Bostic said of investing in cryptocurrencies, according to a Bloomberg report. “They are speculative markets. They are not currency. If you have money you really need, do not put it in these markets.’’
Bostic is far from the first Federal Reserve official to issue bearish comments on cryptocurrency.
In December, Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari compared cryptocurrencies to Beanie Babies.
“I think of it a little bit like Beanie Babies. If they were jumping in price by 1,000 times, or $10,000 each, what would we make of Beanie Babies being priced where they are?,” he said, adding in subsequent statements that he believes the “underlying [blockchain] technology is…more interesting” than Bitcoin.
The president of the Fed’s Chicago branch, similarly, argued that cryptocurrency investors risked “swimming with all the sharks in the world because of all the anonymity.
A recent report from The Federal Reserve Bank of New York shed a slightly more positive light on cryptocurrencies, arguing that they may be able to facilitate trustless payments but that these payments are unnecessary in most advanced economies.
“Cryptocurrencies arguably solve the problem of making payments in a trustless environment, but it is not obvious that this is a problem that needs solving, at least in the United States and other advanced economies,” the report said.
Former Fed Chair Janet Yellen said in her final press conference in that role that Bitcoin is a “highly speculative asset” that “plays a very small role in the payments system.”
Current Fed Chair Jerome Powell, meanwhile, has said in the past that he has “nothing against Bitcoin,” adding that the organization is “not broadly opposed or supportive of alternative currencies.”
Featured image from Flickr/Center for American Progress.