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‘Investors stay clear’: UBS warns regulators could pop ‘bubble-like crypto markets’

Swiss multinational investment banking giant UBS has warned its clients that crypto assets are unsuitable for professional investors if regulatory pressure continues.

In a note sent to clients last week, the global wealth management team at UBS said China’s latest crackdown had hurt crypto prices and operators, cautioning that further regulatory pushback worldwide could exacerbate the downward pressure on digital asset prices:

“Regulators have demonstrated they can and will crackdown on crypto, so we suggest investors stay clear and build their portfolio around less risky assets. We’ve long warned that shifting investor sentiment or regulatory crackdowns could pop bubble-like crypto markets.”

While UBS acknowledged that further crypto gains could be possible, it emphasized the risks the speculative asset class could pose to investors:

“While we can’t rule out future price gains in cryptos, we see this as a speculative market that poses significant risks to professional investors.”

The Swiss bank also warned about leveraged trading, stating, “Crypto trading practices, such as extending 50X or 100X leverage, appear fundamentally at odds with mainstream finance regulation.”

The renewed Chinese crackdown on Bitcoin mining operations, which began in late April, has seen mixed analysis from the crypto community, with some arguing the migration of hash power from China offers the Bitcoin (BTC) mining industry an opportunity to improve its ecological footprint and to further decentralize the network.

The banks see it differently, however, with UBS fearing that China’s actions will create a cascade effect around the world from financial regulators.

UBS’ prediction already appears to be coming true, with the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority taking action against the world’s largest digital asset exchange, Binance, on June 27.

Related: Binance disappointed by Barclays’ ‘unilateral action’ to block customer payments

A number of leading high street banks in the U.K., including TSB, NatWest and Barclays, have limited their customers’ access to crypto exchanges since the FCA took action against Binance in late June.

In May, Cointelegraph reported that UBS was rumored to be working on launching crypto trading services for wealthy clients.

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