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

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

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

Luke Ellis, chief executive of Man Group, compared the mania surrounding digital currencies to the 17th century tulip craze, when the value of bulbs soared and then crashed.

“If you look at cryptocurrencies as a whole, it’s a pure trading tool. There is no intrinsic value in it. It’s a tulip bulb,” he told the Financial Times.

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

Ellis, whose company has £92 billion in assets under management, said the dramatic price swings offer trading opportunities and cryptocurrencies were one of about 800 markets in which it was traded, on top of 15,000 shares and thousands of credits.

He said digital currencies are “something to trade because they go up and down a lot.”