Cramer: Bitcoin is like ‘Monopoly money’ — you’re better off gambling in Vegas

Bitcoin is a pure gamble, and those interested in the cryptocurrency should just go to Vegas, CNBC’s Jim Cramer warned on Wednesday.

The cryptocurrency, which has surged more than 1,000 percent this year, broke above the $12,000 mark on Wednesday morning, according to industry site CoinDesk. Bitcoin’s rapid gains have prompted some market participants to warn of a bubble.

“It’s kind of like monopoly money,” Cramer said on “Squawk Box.” “Obviously, there’s people who use it. If you ever say anything bad about it, there’s like this ‘bitcoin mafia’ that comes after you. But it is an oddity that has nothing to do with us” as investors.

“It’s just pure gambling at this point,” Cramer continued. “I mean if you want to gamble, go to Vegas. Vegas is fabulous.” “I mean honestly, what’s the difference between investing into a cryptocurrency and trying to figure out the Super Bowl? I mean it’s gambling,” the host of CNBC’s “Mad Money” added.

Late last month, Cramer said the cryptocurrency’s velocity is a sign that its surge is “parabolic”, and that could mean the rally won’t last. Cramer’s comments resembled those of closely followed trader Art Cashin.

Cashin, the UBS director of floor operations at the New York Stock Exchange, said bitcoin has reached “parabolic” levels, and it some at the Federal Reserve worried.

With Wednesday morning’s spike, bitcoin now has a total market value of about $213 billion — more than twice Goldman Sachs’ market cap.

In a CNBC interview Wednesday, Andrew Busch, chief market intelligence officer at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, addressed the new bitcoin futures products coming to the market. “Our role as a derivatives regulator is to make sure the futures contract it’s not manipulated. We’re going to do do that for sure.”

New Cboe bitcoin futures are set to begin trading on Sunday. The CME contracts are slated to launch on Dec. 18. Nasdaq plans to launch its own bitcoin futures as early as the second quarter of 2018.