Jordan Belfort, the disgraced stock trader whose book inspired Martin Scorsese’s blockbuster Wolf of Wall Street, has labeled Bitcoin a “huge danger.”
The cryptocurrency has been rising in value over the past decade, and unexpectedly soared to over P880,268.47 in the last few weeks.
As a truly decentralized currency, Bitcoin is liable to surges in value—as well as quick downturns.
And in an interview with the Financial Times, Belfort said the "'initial coin offerings' are a 'huge gigantic scam that's going to blow up in so many people's faces.'"
He labels it “far worse than anything I was ever doing", and believes that, “probably 85% of people out there don't have bad intentions, but the problem is, if 5% or 10% are trying to scam you, it's a fucking disaster."
Increased interest around Bitcoin means that many people will look to invest, but the lack of security around the buying and holding of the currency could prove risky to newcomers.
He added: "Everyone and their grandmother wants to jump in right now. I'm not saying there's something with the idea of cryptocurrencies, or even tulip bulbs. It's the people who will then get involved and bastardize the idea."
Belfort knows a thing or two about scams—it might just be worth listening to him on this one.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk.
* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.