Bitcoin mania ‘just like Dutch tulip bubble’, says hedge fund boss

Boss of world’s largest hedge fund dismisses bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as having ‘no inherent worth’

The boss of the world’s largest hedge fund has dismissed bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as having ‘no inherent worth’.

Luke Ellis, chief executive of Man Group, compared the mania around digital currencies with the 17th-century tulip frenzy, when the value of bulbs soared and then crashed.

‘If you look at cryptocurrencies as a whole, it is a pure trading instrument. There is no inherent worth in it whatsoever. It is a tulip bulb,’ he told the Financial Times. 

The comments came as bitcoin rose almost 20 percent, back towards $40,000 (£28,920) amid speculation that Amazon could take it as a payment method. Its value has swung wildly this year, peaking at almost $65,000 (£47,000) in April before falling below $30,000 (£21,680) last week.

Ellis, whose firm has £92billion in assets under management, said the dramatic price swings provide trading opportunities and that cryptocurrencies were one of around 800 markets it traded in on top of 15,000 stocks and thousands of credits.

He said digital currencies were ‘something to trade because they go up and down a bunch’.