The head of one of Britain's leading financial regulators has warned people to be ready to "lose all their money" if they invest in Bitcoin.
Andrew Bailey, head of the Financial Conduct Authority, told the BBC that neither central banks nor the government stood behind the "currency" and therefore it was not a secure investment.
Speaking on Newsnight, Mr Bailey said buying Bitcoin was similar to gambling - and had the same level of risk. "It's not a currency, it's actually not regulated in its Bitcoin form.”
"It's a very volatile commodity in terms of its pricing. If you look at what has happened this year, I would caution people.”
"We know relatively little about what informs the price of Bitcoin. It's an odd commodity as well, as the supply is fixed.”
"If you want to invest in Bitcoin be prepared to lose your money - that would be my serious warning."
Mr Bailey said that financial regulators did not oversee "commodities" and that he was not immediately pressing for a change in the rules.
The cryptocurrency has grabbed the headlines this year after its value soared. A year ago one Bitcoin was reported to be worth £580 on CoinDesk, a cryptocurrency news site. Today it is worth £12,400.