Retail investment in crypto currencies should be treated like gambling, UK MPs have urged the government.
The Treasury Select Committee reported customers risked losing all their money on the currency which can perform well or very badly
Those characteristics resemble gambling, the committee said.
But it is unlikely to support the use of gambling legislation to regulate it.
A Treasury official told the BBC: “Typical of those that exist in traditional financial services and it’s financial services regulation – rather than gambling regulation – that has the track record in mitigating them.”
But the trade association, CryptoUK, dismissed the observations as “unhelpful, false, fundamentally flawed and unsubstantiated”, according to the BBC.
The MPs said: “”These characteristics more closely resemble gambling than a financial service.”
The MPs said that the profile of cryto “gamblers” were more typically men under 35, already identified as the least risk averse when it comes to financial investments.
The BBC cited an example of a problem gambler who had stopped conventional gambling but lost £150,000 on crypto currencies instead.
“In my head, I just thought this isn’t gambling it’s just an investment, but clearly it wasn’t,” he told the BBC.
“There was no break at all, I was just I was on my phone constantly watching it and just couldn’t sleep. Crypto stuff is gambling – you can lose everything you’ve got.”