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BlackRock says Bitcoin prices 'bubble-like' after record rally

[HONG KONG] With bitcoin prices up 17-fold this year and sitting above the US$16,000 mark, valuations for the cryptocurrency are in "extreme" territory, according to BlackRock.

"We are seeing sort of bubble-like valuations," Belinda Boa, the money manager's head of active investments for Asia-Pacific, told reporters in Hong Kong.

"BlackRock's view is that this isn't a financial asset like we would trade in terms of equities and fixed-income instruments."

BlackRock joins other major financial services firms which have weighed in on bitcoin's meteoric rise this year amid increasing mainstream acceptance. Bitcoin futures contracts made their debut on CBOE Global Markets' exchange late Sunday, and CME Group is set to launch similar products on Dec 18.

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"The higher valuations go, the more likely we are to see some volatility in that space," Ms Boa said.

"What we're seeing in bitcoin and some of the cryptocurrencies, we have seen huge moves in asset prices. I would therefore expect that we will see a lot more volatility in the future."

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