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Central Bank official says popularity of cryptocurrencies a ‘great concern’

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Central Bank’s Derville Rowland. Photo: Mark Condren

Central Bank’s Derville Rowland. Photo: Mark Condren

Central Bank’s Derville Rowland. Photo: Mark Condren

The director general of financial conduct at Central Bank, Derville Rowland, has said the increasing popularity of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin is “of great concern.”

Ms Rowland is one of the top officials at the Irish Financial Regulator.

“Crypto assets are quite a speculative, unregulated investment,” and people should be “really aware they could lose the whole of that investment,” Ms Rowland said in an interview.

Ms Rowland is not the first central banker to raise concerns about cryptocurrencies.

Andrew Bailey, the Bank of England Governor, warned that cryptocurrencies do not have any intrinsic value. Mr Bailey also warned that people should buy the currencies if they are prepared to lose all their money.

Earlier this month the Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda noted Bitcoin’s “extraordinarily high” volatility.

So fair this year Bitcoin has risen about 30pc.

Ms Rowland, who qualified as a barrister in London, was appointed director general of financial conduct at the Central Bank in September 2017.

She is responsible for the supervision of more than 10,000 firms here.

(Additional reporting Bloomberg)

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