Cohn Downplays Bitcoin Risks

  • Cryptocurrency’s rise not a serious risk, Trump adviser says
  • Officials watching for effects of new futures contracts
Gary Cohn discusses how the White House views bitcoin with Bloomberg’s Jonathan Ferro.

White House economic adviser Gary Cohn said he and other administration officials are monitoring the meteoric rise in cryptocurrency bitcoin, while adding that he didn’t see any serious threat in the phenomenon.

“We’re watching it, of course we’re watching it,” Cohn, the former president of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., said Friday in an interview on Bloomberg Television. “Right now we don’t think it’s a serious risk, but right now we’re watching it.”

The digital currency surged in recent days, trading above $17,000, up from $9,654 on Nov. 30 and from below $1,000 at the end of 2016. It was around $15,500 as of 10:32 a.m. New York time.

Asked if any new regulation might be required, Cohn noted that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission had recently approved bitcoin futures contracts, giving some investors the ability to short the currency.

“We’ll see what goes on here,” he said. “It’s an evolving market. We’ve watched this happen before as markets have evolved.”

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