Cryptocurrencies Should Be 'Outlawed’, Allianz GI CEO Claims

Francisco Memoria

Andreas Utermann, the chief executive officer of Allianz Global Investors, has recently argued cryptocurrencies like bitcoin should be “outlawed” as he believes these have been harmful to retail investors who put their money into them.

Utermann’s comments come as the cryptocurrency ecosystem has been enduring a near year-long bear market that has seen various cryptocurrencies lose most of their value. Bitcoin, the flagship cryptocurrency, is down about 82% from its all-time high, while Ethereum’s ether has seen its price drop 93% from its all-time high.

According to Reuters, during a panel discussion in London Utermann claimed regulators should “outlaw” cryptocurrencies, and added:

I am personally surprised that regulators haven’t stepped in harder.

His comments were reportedly made as he was sitting next to the head of Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority, Andrew Bailey. Responding to Utermann, Bailey noted that he believes cryptoassets have “no intrinsic value,” and added the Financial Conduct Authority is indeed “watching that very closely.”

Reuters notes Baily said authorities have also been surveilling initial coin offerings (ICOs), which are an alternative way for firms to raise funds. Notably, as CryptoGlobe covered, the chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Jay Clayton has recently argued ICOs are an “effective way to raise capital,” if rules are followed.

Earlier this month South Korean finance minister nominee Hong Nam-ki revealed plans to tax ICOs and cryptocurrencies in the country. Per Hong, cryptos are a “new phenomenon” that currently lacks an internationally agreed upon regulatory framework. This means there are certain problems to be addressed in the market, including a lack of investor protection.

Earlier this year, as CryptoGlobe covered, Allianz chief economic advisor Mohamed El-Erian argued that an emerging cashless society may lead to government-backed cryptocurrencies. He argued cryptos will have a role in the future, but as officially sanctioned currencies.