Bank of France warns on bitcoin speculation


The cryptocurrency, Bitcoin.

PARIS - Bitcoin is a speculative asset and people who invest in it do so at their own risk, Bank of France Governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau warned on Friday, following recent volatile trade.

"We need to be clear: bitcoin is in no way a currency or even a cryptocurrency," Villeroy said in remarks made at a conference in Beijing, according to the Bank of France.

"It is a speculative asset. Its value and extreme volatility have no economic basis and they are nobody’s responsibility. The Bank of France reminds those investing in bitcoin that they do so entirely at their own risk," he added.

READ: Bitcoin could threaten financial stability: Fed governor

Bitcoin hovered around $9,600 (R124, 800) in volatile trade on Friday, after tumbling about 15 percent from a record high it.

The cryptocurrency reached an all-time high of $11,395 a day earlier, before sliding back down to as low as $9,000.

READ: Bitcoin loses over a fifth of its value in less than 24 hours

Many money managers warned ominously of a bubble and further falls still.

The slide tempers an astronomical rise for the cryptocurrency in recent months, despite several governments banning them outright and with other central banks struggling to find ways to regulate cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin was up almost 1,100 percent year-to-date on Wednesday and despite the slide, as of 1400 GMT on Thursday, it was still up around 850 percent since 1 January.