Jordan Belfort has a stark warning for people investing in Bitcoin
It seems that wherever we turn at the moment, everybody is talking about bitcoin. The cryptocurrency has taken over the headlines due to its huge surges in value and now due to this, everyone you know from high school has suddenly turned into an expert on the stock market.
If you're an avid Twitter user, look up the bitcoin hashtag and your screen will be awash with plenty of people who claim to be making thousands off of the new currency - as well as a few sour people who can't wait to see it all crash and burn so that they can laugh at those who thought that they were the next generation of millionaires.
The last few years has seen bitcoin go from a strange, internet currency that was used in the depths of the dark web to purchase illegal items and substances to becoming a legitimate investment opportunity. Those who were smart enough to invest in the currency when it was just worth a few cents are now sitting on a virtual fortune.
But not everyone is a fan of the currency. Jordan Belfort, the man who The Wolf of Wall Street was based on, is not convinced by cryptocurrency in the slightest. During an interview with the financial times, Belfort said that the "initial coin offerings" were a "huge gigantic scam that's going to blow up in so many people's faces." He went on to say that Bitcoin is "far worse than anything I was ever doing."
While it may be best to take Belfort's claims with a pinch of salt due to the fact that he pleaded guilty to fraud in connection to stock-market manipulation, the former stockbroker refused to hold back on his views on the cryptocurrency, saying:
"Probably 85 percent of people out there don't have bad intentions, but the problem is, if five percent or 10 percent are trying to scam you, it's a fucking disaster."
Bitcoin is different to banks in the sense that it offers no security and is not regulated or backed by the government. Also, the fact that the currency exists wholly online means that it is vulnerable to hackers.
Belfort continued on his tirade, saying: "Everyone and their grandmother wants to jump in right now. I'm not saying there's something with the idea of cryptocurrencies, or even tulip bulbs. It's the people who will then get involved and bastardise the idea."
While Belfort's sentiments may serve as a word of warning to those people who are getting heavily involved in the likes of Bitcoin and Litecoin, I highly doubt it will be enough to put people off. I mean, who are you more likely to be convinced by - Jordan Belfort, a man who is convicted of criminal activity when it comes to finances, or your mate Ryan, who is making $100's a day off of these new currencies and is able to buy new sneakers and clothes without crying while doing so? It's simple, really.