An on-and-off Academy Award winning actor, frontman of 30 Seconds to Mars, the band holding the Guinness record for the longest concert tour with 309 concerts, and a tech investor, Jared Leto also seems to have familiarized himself with the bitcoin craze as he has recently joined the growing debate over the nature of cryptocurrency investing.
In an interview with Australian radio station Nova, Leto presented his opinion on the matter, slamming bitcoin investing as gambling. The multi-faceted artist warned future investors against putting their money into bitcoin. He called cryptocurrency investing gambling and speculation, and went on to say that the activity is not something a person who could not afford to lose their money should delve into.
Leto’s comments come at a time when bitcoin and those investing in it are having a bit of a hard time. The virtual currency’s price reached an all-time high of $19,343.04 in mid-December, but growing regulatory pressure from different parts of the world and other factors resulted in its price dropping significantly overnight, spurring fears that any investor’s worst nightmare of a bubble burst could come true. At the time of writing, bitcoin’s price stands at $10,083.85, up slightly from earlier today when it tumbled to $9,748.53.
While we cannot say whether Leto’s knowledge is extensive enough, it should be noted that his opinion about the gambling-like nature of cryptocurrency investing is shared by many financial experts and analysts.
Regulators’ Stance on Cryptocurrency Investing
Due to the volatility of bitcoin and altcoins’ prices, investing in these has often been referred to as gambling. The Bank of Canada has recently become the latest financial institution to join the debate over the proper definition of cryptocurrency investing.
In an interview with business news outlet CNBC, Canada’s central bank governor said that bitcoin investing is gambling and not actual investing. The official further pointed out that the Bank of Canada will be working with regulators from different parts of the world for crafting regulations aimed to put limitations on certain aspects of cryptocurrency investing and trading.
While digital currencies and investing in those are considered a form of gambling by many, actual gambling regulators have pointed out that they have no authority over the regulation of the activity. The Netherlands Gaming Authority was one such regulatory body to comment on the matter. The regulator said in a statement that under the country’s current gambling regulations, cryptocurrency investing cannot be defined as any form of gambling and it thus does not fall under its purview.
The Actual Link between Cryptocurrencies and Gambling
The potential of digital currencies has been spotted by the global gambling industry. A number of online gambling operators have added cryptocurrency transactions to their lists of available payment options, and many more are expected to follow suit. Generally speaking, cryptocurrencies allow a relative anonymity, cutting out banks and other third-party financial institutions.
The UK Gambling Commission has been among the regulators to acknowledge the use of bitcoin and altcoins for gambling-related transactions, as long as these are conducted between UK gambling customers and UK-licensed operators. However, the regulator has warned of the risks of transactions of this type.
Robert Johnson is an experienced web author and blogger. He has over three years of experience as a freelance journalist and writer.