Indian billionaire Rakesh Jhunjhunwala said the country’s regulators should ban cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.
The investor, sometimes referred to as India’s Warren Buffett, said he would “never buy Bitcoin”.
“I think it’s speculation at the highest level. I don’t want to go to every party in town. I think the hangover is much worse,” he told CNBC’s Street Signs Asia on Tuesday.
Bitcoin had a spectacular run in 2021 and is up more than 90% so far this year, according to Coin Metrics.
These strong gains are partly due to the rampant adoption of Bitcoin by major investors and corporations, including Elon Musk’s Tesla and the Bank of New York Mellon.
India’s regulators have yet to make a decision on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, but there is widespread speculation that the government plans to ban all private virtual currencies and introduce its own official digital currency.
I think regulators should step in and ban Bitcoin. And they should focus on the digital rupee.
Partner, Rare Enterprises
Jhunjhunwala said India’s regulators had a role to play in keeping Bitcoin out.
“I think regulators should ban Bitcoin” said the investor, who is currently a partner at wealth management firm Rare Enterprises. “And they should focus on the digital rupee.”
Bullish on India
He was optimistic about the prospects for the country and said he believed India will make a strong recovery based on the reforms and policy initiatives the government has taken in the recent budget.
“I think we now have a resurgent India. The Indian budget has shown that the government will do what needs to be done in terms of policy and reform. All of these things will come together,” he added.
During the latest budget release, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced plans to step up capital investment and reform the financial sector to support India’s troubled economy following the slowdown caused by the pandemic.
She also said India needs to borrow 800 billion rupees ($ 10.96 billion) from the bond market over the next two months.
The billionaire predicted India will see strong growth over the next year as the country recovers from the pandemic.
“I think India is in the final stage of Covid-19,” he said, adding that the country is expected to grow between 10% and 11% over the next year.