Former British Chancellor Lord Philip Hammond has reportedly urged investors to be “extremely cautious” about investing in cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin and ether.
Lord Hammond was a U.K. cabinet minister who served as the chancellor of the exchequer from 2016 to 2019, foreign secretary from 2014 to 2016, and defense secretary from 2011 to 2014. He joined the House of Lords in July last year.
Commenting on whether one should invest in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, he told The Mail on Sunday: “If a member of my family was asking me, I think what I’d do is draw their attention to the fact that large and reputable established asset managers are now increasingly dipping their toe.” The former chancellor of the exchequer emphasized: “But it is dipping a toe — it’s a tiny proportion of their asset base exposed to what is a highly volatile asset class.” He added:
It’s almost certainly not suitable for retail investors as a mainstream investment category. “It’s gambling money.” I think people should be extremely cautious. Many regard them as closer to gaming than serious investing.
“I know plenty of people who have a small exposure to crypto assets but it is money they’ve written off,” he further opined.
Even though Lord Hammond warned about cryptocurrency investing, he has taken a role as a senior advisor at crypto firm Copper, which he joined in October. The firm, valued at $3 billion last month, provides digital asset infrastructure to institutional clients, including traders, wealth managers, private banks, crypto funds, and family offices.
Lord Hammond stressed that he would not have joined a firm that focuses on crypto investing. He noted that the distributed ledger technology however will “eventually encompass the whole of what we currently think of as financial services.” He clarified: “My job with Copper is to raise the profile of this debate, make sure people are aware that there’s a huge opportunity here.”
The former chancellor of the exchequer concluded:
“We can grasp the opportunities of new technology and leverage the fact that whatever some of our friends in Europe might like to think, London is still the dominant financial services centre in the European continent.”
The former U.K. chancellor has urged investors to be “extremely cautious” about investing in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether.