Allianz Global Investors Officer Urges Global Regulators To “Outlaw” Bitcoin At London Panel


Allianz GI CEO Urges Global Regulators To “Outlaw” Crypto Currencies At London Panel

Cryptocurrencies haven’t been seeing the best performance lately. Even though they were met with a substantial boom in 2017, this year has been rather lackluster, leading many investors out of the market, selling while they can still get something back. Bitcoin has managed to lose 75% of its highest price, while Ripple and Ethereum have seen an even greater loss of around 90%. With these dreadful numbers in mind, Andreas Utermann believes that cryptocurrency needs to be gone, according to a report from Reuters on Tuesday.

“You should outlaw it.” That’s the simple proclamation made by Utermann, the Chief executive of Allianz Global, which is one of the largest asset managers in Europe. The “you” spoken of in his statement is a collective term towards all global regulators, as he urged them to make crypto assets an illegal industry. Much of his criticism was due to his opinion that they are the cause of a massive loss in investors’ savings accounts.

The statement came at a panel discussion in London, though he added,

“I am personally surprised that regulators haven’t stepped in harder.” “He was seated next to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for Britain, Andrew Baily, who didn’t seem to debate Utermann’s stance. Instead, he indicated that the crypto assets don’t truly have the value that they boast.”

Presently, though no “outlawing” seems to be planned, the local authorities are taking some action. As they continue “watching that very closely,” they are also examining the setup of initial coin offerings (ICOs), according to Bailey.

Earlier this year, the FCA established a group to “develop thinking and policy,” regarding both cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. Presently, the task force is working to determine if and what rules should be applied. However, there has been some data collected that may end up leading to bans on crypto derivatives. They claim that the opportunities for retail investors are “complex, volatile and often leveraged derivatives products” with “underlying market integrity issues.”

That being said, there are many industry players that are trying to prepare themselves for potentially stricter policies. Fred Wilson, for example, is the co-founder for Union Square Ventures, and he used his blog recently to show the connections and similarities between the Dotcom Boom (and subsequent bust) and the cryptocurrency performance now. He warned that Bitcoin can still go down from here, even with his faith in Bitcoin himself.

Wilson believes that much of the comments from Utermann are due to the regulatory issues. So far, these regulators haven’t managed to keep cryptocurrency down for too long, but Wilson sees this as an eventual reality. Based on the recent comments of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), government intervention could put cryptocurrency on a shaky ground that it may not be able to hold onto.

Stephen Innes, Oanda’s head of Pacific Asia trading, is also worried about the strict stance that governments may choose to take on crypto assets. Thought he’s an optimist, he believes that the regulatory measures will eliminate the anonymity and decentralization that cryptocurrency is created on.

Even with a potentially dismal future in mind, Wilson concluded his blog post by writing,

“I think some crypto asset (and possibly a number of crypto assets) will have a price chart like Amazon’s current one in 18 years. But we will have to do what Amazon did, hunker down and build value and survive, for quite a while to get there. And I think things will get worse before they get better.”

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