Cryptocurrency 

Ex-England striker makes cryptocurrency investment

Ex-England striker makes cryptocurrency investment

Former England and Real Madrid footballer Michael Owen has invested in a cryptocurrency platform.

Mr Owen was at one time England's all-time record goalscorer at international level, and played for clubs including Liverpool, Real Madrid and Newcastle.

Since retiring he has invested in property and bloodstock and become a television pundit.

Mr Owen is investing in Global Crypto Offering Exchange.

This is a platform which allows individuals to launch their own cryptocurrency.

The aim of the platform is to allow famous people to launch their own currency, with the tokens used by fans of the celebrities to pay for the merchandise of the famous person.

The platform hopes to generate revenue by charging a fee for each transaction that happens on its site.

Speaking on the CNBC television channel about his decision to invest, Mr Owen said cryptocurrency was risky.

Regulators have been increasing the level of scrutiny of cryptocurrencies.

Earlier this month, Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, said digital currencies have failed to replace traditional money and need to be regulated.

He said regulators would now need to decide whether to "isolate, regulate or integrate" cryptocurrencies and their associated activities.

Cryptocurrencies are currently banned in Bangladesh, Bolivia, Ecuador and Morocco while China has recently banned exchanges, financial institutions and payment processors from handling them.

But Mr Carney said: "If widely adopted, however, isolation risks foregoing potentially major opportunities from the development of the underlying payments technologies.

"A better path would be to regulate elements of the crypto-asset ecosystem to combat illicit activities, promote market integrity, and protect the safety and soundness of the financial system.

"The time has come to hold the crypto-asset ecosystem to the same standards as the rest of the financial system. Being part of the financial system brings enormous privileges, but with them great responsibilities."

In September the Financial Conduct Authority raised concerns about virtual currencies such as Bitcoin, saying investors should be prepared to lose all their money.

david.thorpe@ft.com

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