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Asian central bankers on high alert over bitcoin frenzy

BOJ's Kuroda warns of the crypto's 'undoubtedly abnormal' rise

Bitcoin has almost topped $20,000. The cryptocurrency's meteoric rise this year has Asian central bankers worried.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- As bitcoin climbs 19 fold in under a year, central banks in Asia, where about 60% of the world's cryptocurrency trades take place, are increasingly uneasy about the virtual currency that is luring ordinary investors.

The most recent signs came from Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda. "The rise [in bitcoin] is undoubtedly abnormal," he warned during a media conference following BOJ's monetary policy meeting on Thursday. "Bitcoin is used not as a means of settlement but rather as pure speculation."

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