Bitcoin is ‘just going to implode one day’: Saudi Prince Alwaleed

Add Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal to the roster of high-profile investors and financiers who don’t believe bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are here to stay.

“I just don’t believe in this bitcoin thing. I think it’s just going to implode one day,” Alwaleed told CNBC in an interview Monday morning. “I think this is Enron in the making.”

Bitcoin BTCUSD, -0.89% is up around 500% in 2017 and last week topped $6,000 for the first time. Bitcoin was down 2.5% Monday at $5,735.18 in recent trade, according to Coindesk.com.

Energy firm Enron collapsed in 2001 in one of the largest accounting scandals in U.S. corporate history.

From the archive: Enron workers lost everything

Alwaleed said bitcoin “doesn’t make sense. This thing is not regulated, it’s not under control, [and] it’s not under the supervision” of any central bank.

 Of course, to bitcoin proponents, those same criticisms are features rather than bugs.Read: What one strategist sees taking bitcoin ‘into the stratosphere’

Alwaleed has plenty of company among bitcoin doubters. Alwaleed said he agreed with J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. JPM, +0.28% Chief Executive Jamie Dimon, who last month likened bitcoin to the 17th century tulip mania, an early market bubble, and branded cryptocurrencies a “fraud” that would eventually implode.

And billionaire investor Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund, last month said cryptocurrencies like bitcoin met his firm’s criteria for a market bubble.

Not all big-shot financiers are cryptocurrency skeptics, however. Morgan Stanley Chief Executive James Gorman last month said the phenomenon was “more than just a fad.”

Read: ‘Fraud.’ ‘More than a fad.’ The words Wall Street CEOs are using to describe bitcoin

In the wide-ranging interview, the prince also argued that shares of Citigroup Inc.C, +0.41%  remain undervalued. “There’s still plenty of room for Citigroup to go above $100 right now,” he told the cable news channel. Citigroup shares are up 49% in the last 12 months and gained 0.4% Monday morning to trade at $73.81. Alwaleed’s Kingdom Holdings is a major investor in Citigroup.

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