Ireland's Central Bank 'Highly Unlikely' to Allow Retail Investors to Hold Crypto

The bank cites the difficulty of assessing risks.

AccessTimeIconFeb 8, 2022 at 1:21 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 3:41 p.m. UTC

The Central Bank of Ireland is "highly unlikely" to allow retail investors to be exposed to crypto assets, it said in a report published on Tuesday.

  • The bank cited "the specific risks attached to crypto assets" and "the possibility that appropriate risk assessment could be difficult for a retail investor without a high degree of expertise."
  • The central bank's position applies to "Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities," or UCITS, which are organizations that invest in securities and are regulated by the European Union. It also includes alternative investment funds (AIFs), which aren't regulated by the UCITS directive and include hedge funds, private equity and real estate funds, according to the European Commission.
  • Crypto assets are "highly risky and speculative" but "at the moment" are considered suitable for wholesale and professional investors, the Irish central bank said.
  • The statement was part of the central bank's second annual Securities Markets Risk Outlook Report, but was also stated in two reports on UCITS and AIFs in December.
  • Several crypto exchange-traded funds have made their debut in Europe in the last year.


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Eliza Gkritsi

Eliza Gkritsi is a CoinDesk contributor focused on the intersection of crypto and AI.