"I don't think bitcoin is prevalent enough at the moment to be a systemic threat in the way we experienced during the financial crisis other threats; it needs watching carefully but I don't think we're there yet," said Andrew Bailey, chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority, during a Thursday interview on BBC's Newsnight.
Bailey has not sought authority for market oversight from the UK Parliament or Brussels, according to the Financial Times.
"If I thought there was evidence of people saying: 'You know what I'm going to put my pension into? bitcoin!' I'd be very concerned, but we don't see that at the moment," added Bailey.
Perhaps, he hasn't heard of the speculators considering HELOCs to buy cryptocurrency. As evidence, see these comments on Twitter from the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Neel Kashkari:
If cryptocurrency enthusiasts are in fact taking these desperate measures, maybe that will change Bailey's tune. Bitcoin IRAs do exist, though it's not clear whether these make up the bulk of customers' retirement accounts or just a small percentage.
For now, Bailey called bitcoin "a very volatile commodity" (commodities fall outside of the FCA's purview) and he reiterated that investors must be prepared to lose everything at the drop of a hat.
In recent months, the FCA has issued a warning about token offerings (ICOs), cautioned investors about cryptocurrency contracts for differences, and issued a report that details the denial of banking services to firms exploring distributed ledger technology.