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The speculation around bitcoin is the “very definition of a bubble,” Credit Suisse Group AG Chief Executive Officer Tidjane Thiam said as the currency exceeded $7,000 for the first time. Bankers are steering clear of bitcoin out of concern that criminals could use its anonymity to hide their activities, he said on Thursday at a news conference in Zurich.
“Most banks in the current state of regulation have little or no appetite to get involved in a currency which has such anti-money laundering challenges,” he said. “From what we can identify, the only reason today to buy or sell bitcoin is to make money, which is the very definition of speculation and the very definition of a bubble.”
Other bankers have also expressed scepticism about the currency. JPMorgan Chase & Co Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon has called bitcoin “a fraud” that will eventually blow up. UBS Group AG Chairman Axel Weber said last month that bitcoin has no “intrinsic value” because it’s not secured by underlying assets.