“I would bet holiday money on bitcoin,” says GOV.UK blogger

By Raffaele Redi

Blog post appeared on the GOV.UK website on Friday 3 December

Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and Westminster bridge at sunset, London, United Kingdom                                 
Members of the UK government have endorsed cryptocurrencies on occasions. Photo: Shutterstock

A UK government blogger has said he would “be willing to bet my holiday money” that bitcoin prices will peak in the next few months.

Scott Waygood’s comments appeared on a GOV.UK blog posted on Friday 3 December, ‘Expectations of bitcoin’.

The reflection came at the bottom of a story analysing bitcoin’s four-year cycle – the long-term cycle of bitcoin price movements centred around the so-called halving event.

“Would I bet my house, or retirement savings, that in the next few months bitcoin prices would hit a peak in the four-year cycle? Certainly not,” said Waygood, a senior trainee actuary.

Family trip to New Zealand

“Would I be willing to bet my holiday money on this? Yes, I am. Particularly as travel restrictions continue to thwart my plans for a nice family trip to New Zealand,” he added.

A disclaimer at the bottom of the blog states that the opinions in the post are his personal views only and are not intended to constitute advice.

However, this would not be the first positive comment on cryptocurrencies from officials or members of the UK government in recent history.

MPs endorsement and crypto taskforce

Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, claimed in May 2021 that he is in favour of decentralised finance end electronic money, citing bitcoin and ether.

Meanwhile, in a recent interview with Yahoo Finance, former Chancellor of the Exchequer Lord Hammond said cryptocurrency adoption was unstoppable, with blockchain technology poised “to bring many benefits”.

Back in 2018, the UK government set up a Cryptoassets Taskforce to examine the crypto environment and distributed ledger technology (DLT). It concluded that certain kinds of crypto assets could benefit the economy in the future.

“The taskforce has also seen some evidence that certain types of crypto assets have the potential to deliver benefits in the future, for example when used as an innovative capital-raising tool,” it said in a report.

“However, harnessing these potential benefits requires effective action to manage the range of risks observed in the current crypto asset market – in particular, to consumers and market integrity, and the use of crypto assets for illicit activity.”

FCA warnings and the digital pound

However, other bodies such as the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have repeatedly warned investors about the volatility risks of cryptocurrencies.

“Cryptoassets are considered very high risk, speculative purchases. If you buy crypto assets, you should be prepared to lose all your money,” claimed the FCA, which banned the sale of crypto-derivatives to retail consumers in early October 2021.

Meanwhile, in 2022 the Bank of England will launch a consultation to assess the case for a UK Central Bank Digital Currency (CBCD), “including the merits of further work to develop an operational and technology model for a UK CBDC”.

The bank said the 2022 consultation would inform a decision on whether the authorities are content to move into a development phase that will span several years.

The UK government Actuary’s Department did not respond to a request for comment.

Further reading

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