TODAY |

It could be a decade before cyrptocurrencies are a safe investment, experts warn


New Zealand experts are warning it could be a decade before cryptocurrencies could be a safe investment option.

Concern has been rising over the popularity of Bitcoin. Source: 1 NEWS

Concern has been rising over the volatility of Bitcoin, which has seen a sharp rise and fall in value in recent months.

A Kiwi service for Bitcoin investments has gained more than 3000 new clients in a year.

But even its founder says investors must be careful.

"It's early days for Bitcoin as a technology. I think you should only invest what you can afford to lose," Sam Blackmore from My Bitcoin Saver's says.

The last few months has seen the value of one Bitcoin soar to almost $27,000, and then fall as low as $10,000.

Right now it's valued just under $14,000.

Financial advisers from Kiwi company Fisher Funds say cryptocurrencies cannot be treated in the same way as traditional currencies.

"The mere fact that it's so volatile means it wouldn't act effectively as a currency," Fisher Funds adviser Frank Jasper says.

"Imagine if the NZD doubled or halved in value overnight, the price of milk would double or halve. Your salary would be right or wrong."

Mr Jasper says right now it's just too risky an investment.

"There 1700+ cryptocurrencies. You need you pick the one that's going to be the winner over the next decade, that's pretty hard to do," he says.

Banks in the UK and Australia have banned the buying and selling of cryptocurrencies with credit cards.

Banks here are cautious too, some offering services on a case by case basis.

Bitcoin will be discussed at the G20 summit next month, so perhaps regulation for the world's most popular cryptocurrency is on its way.