Cryptocurrencies are the new Pokemon cards: Stock exchange boss

Bitcoin cryptocurrency and euros
Bitcoin and Ethereum "tokens" on a stack of euros. November 29, outsiderzone / DepositPhotos

Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin have nothing to do with the "real economy" and are more like Pokemon cards than they are currency, Stephane Boujnah of Euronext stock exchange said in an interview with Bloomberg. 

Euronext, the operator of trading platforms in Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris, among others, will not create a market platform for cryptocurrencies, he said. 

"The mandate of Euronext is to power pan-European capital markets to finance a real economy. Bitcoins have nothing to do with the real economy. Bitcoin has a lot to do with bitcoin", Boujnah said. "Bitcoin is at best a crypto asset. All currencies are assets, but not all assets are currencies. And clearly today bitcoin is just like a piece of art, just like a diamond, just like a Pokemon card."

Boujnah notes that people are now only buying bitcoins, because other people are paying a lot of money for it. 

The Euronext CEO is the latest in a long list of renowned economists and policy makers that criticized cryptocurrency or warned against it. Steven Maijoor, chairman of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), also said that despite being called a cryptocurrency, bitcoin lacks many of the very important characteristics that actual currencies have. The extreme volatility alone undermines its use as an actual currency, he said.

Bitcoin hit a high point in December, reaching a value of over 20 thousand dollars. Since then the cryptocurrency lost almost half its value. Bitcoin price is currently fluctuating around 11 thousand dollars, ANP reports.