UBS CEO Sergio Ermotti talks super rich and Bitcoin.
As Bitcoin flirts with hitting $5,000, more mainstream investors are turning to their financial institutions to learn more about what’s going on.
This was the message from UBS Chief Executive Officer Sergio Ermotti who sat down with Bloomberg Television on Tuesday. He said that while he was still skeptical about the space, cryptocurrencies have piqued the curiosities of his wealthier clients, but that’s about it. Don’t look for them to start investing their millions in cryptos, he indicated.
“People are more curious than really willing to invest,” Ermotti told Bloomberg. “I don’t think there’s any meaningful desire by high net worth individuals to take big bets on this kind of phenomenon.”
Lately, financial chiefs like Ermotti can’t be interviewed about anything without the subject of Bitcoin coming up. The questioning about cryptocurrencies has considerably increased since JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon infamously spoke sharply of the space last month.
He called it a fraud, and said that the only folks using it were murderers, drug dealers and those in North Korea. No matter if he was trying to be flippant about the space, or simply trying to be a crass as possible, it spurred many of his peers, and others familiar with cryptos, to react with their own comments about the space.
“I think Jamie Dimon is doing exactly what Jamie Dimon is supposed to do. He is the CEO of one of the largest banks in the world...and this (Blockchain and crypto) as an industry is a potential threat to his business...and as a fiduciary it’s his job to do what he is doing and I think he is doing a very good job of it.”
Others have weighed in with the same banter about cryptocurrencies being decentralized, and in need of the backing of a government to gain respect as a legitimate currency. UBS’ Ermotti took off there.
“We believe existing currencies may move into becoming more of a crypto-currency,” Ermotti said. “We don’t really believe there’s much room for the creation of new currencies if there is no real backing for a hard and credible issuer of that currency.”
We expect to see more piling on by finance execs, and other observers, as Bitcoin’s price and popularity continue to grow, and we will keep you posted.