Bitcoin investors should be braced for – but not put off by – “much greater government scrutiny,” warns the boss of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory and fintech organisations.
The warning from Nigel Green, CEO and founder of deVere Group, comes on the day Coinbase, the biggest cryptocurrency platform in the U.S., prepares for its public debut.
It launches its initial public offering (IPO) on the Nasdaq under the symbol COIN starting on Wednesday.
On Tuesday on the deVere Crypto app, Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation, hit all-time highs of $64,000.
Mr Green says: “Coinbase’s direct listing is a truly momentous day for the cryptoverse.
“Should it hit its private market valuation of $100 billion, it would immediately become one of the 85 most valuable companies in the U.S.
“Of course, this is driven by the fact the world’s two biggest cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin and Ethereum, to which Coinbase is intrinsically linked, have risen 800% and 1,300% respectively over the last year.”
He continues: “But with these astronomical price jumps, and as they become increasingly embedded in the global financial system, and, critically, as the direct listing on the Nasdaq will reach a wider investment base other than the usual crypto evangelists, investors must expect much greater government scrutiny.
“Governments, central banks and regulators will be keen to protect the currency status quo.
“We should expect considerably higher levels of regulation in the crypto market. Indeed, I believe it is inevitable.”
Mr Green goes on to add: “However, Bitcoin investors shouldn’t be put off by the likelihood of greater government scrutiny.
“Major draconian clampdowns are unlikely as digital currencies are increasingly regarded as the future of money – even by traditionalists. They can’t put the genie back in the bottle.
“Indeed, proportionate regulation should be embraced. It would help protect investors, shore-up the market, tackle criminality, and reduce the potential possibility of disrupting global financial stability, as well as offering a potential long-term economic boost to those countries which introduce it.”
The deVere CEO concludes: “The Coinbase IPO underscores that cryptocurrencies in some form or another are here to stay – and the market is only set to grow.
“Because of this, investors should know that regulation will become a greater priority.”