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Third of major investment firms view cryptocurrency as 'rat poison', according to survey

Third of major investment firms view cryptocurrency as 'rat poison', according to survey
By Reuters

Only 10 per cent of institutional investment firms trade cryptocurrencies, with nearly half labelling the emerging asset class as "rat poison" or predicting it would be a temporary fad, according to a survey by JPMorgan.

Bitcoin, the world's largest cryptocurrency, fell to a five-month low on Tuesday, extending losses from China's deepening crackdown on mining and trading cryptocurrencies.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission has said it would like to see more regulation around trading in the space.

Bitcoin was up 5 per cent around $34,000 (€28,500) as of 11.45 am CET on Wednesday.

Of those firms who did not invest, 80 per cent did not expect to start investing or trading in cryptocurrencies, according to the survey conducted at JPMorgan's Macro, Quantitative and Derrivatives conference, attended by some 3,000 investors from around 1,500 institutions.

However, asked about their personal investments, 40 per cent of the investors said they were active in cryptocurrencies.

Four-fifths of investors also expected regulators to get tougher on the asset class, while a whopping 95 per cent of them believed fraud in crypto world was "somewhat or very much prevalent," the survey released late on Tuesday found.

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett has in the past characterised Bitcoin as "rat poison squared". One third in the JPM survey agreed with that view. Another 16 per cent thought it was a temporary fad.

In other findings, investors said they expected the U.S. benchmark stocks index S&P 500 to trade between 4,200 to 4,600 points by the end of 2021 and see a dial back in central bank stimulus and inflation as key market risks.

S&P 500 closed at 4,246.44 on Tuesday.