Although not much of UK households’ wealth is currently held in assets such as Bitcoin, they are becoming more mainstream, said deputy Bank governor Sir Jon Cunliffe.

If their value fell sharply, it could have a knock-on effect, he said.

The Bank needed to be ready to contain those risks, he added.

Speaking to the BBC’s Today programme, Sir Jon said that at present, about 0.1% of UK households’ wealth was in crypto-currencies.

About 2.3 million people were estimated to hold them, with an average amount per person of about £300.

However, he stressed that crypto-currencies had been “growing very fast”, with people such as fund managers wanting to know whether they should hold part of their portfolios in crypto-currencies.

“Their price can vary quite considerably and they could theoretically or practically drop to zero,” he said.

“The point, I think, at which one worries is when it becomes integrated into the financial system, when a big price correction could really affect other markets and affect established financial market players.

“It’s not there yet, but it takes time to design standards and regulations.”

He added: “We really need to roll our sleeves up and get on with it, so that by the time this becomes a much bigger issue, we’ve actually got the regulatory framework to contain the risks.”

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Source: BBC