CNBC Global CFO Council

US finance leaders are least likely to embrace bitcoin, and some see a fraud: CFO survey

Key Points
  • The CNBC Global CFO Council recently was asked for its view on bitcoin — U.S.-based members were the most skeptical.
  • Nearly a third of CFOs surveyed say they do not know enough about the cryptocurrency to have an opinion.
  • Nearly 30 percent of global members surveyed see bitcoin as a "fraud."
Alexander Demianchuk | TASS | Getty Images

Bitcoin could very well be the investing story of 2017, with its meteoric rise in price (up more than 1,100 percent year-over-year, according to Coinbase). Comments from billionaires and business barons who have called it a bubble — including Jamie Dimon, Jack Bogle, Warren Buffett and Mark Cuban — haven't deterred believers. And you can add to the doubters' list another group of big-name market skeptics.

More than one quarter of respondents (27 percent) taking the recent CNBC Global CFO Council survey see bitcoin as a fraud, while another 27 percent said it is a "real" asset, but in a bubble. Only 14 percent say it is "real and still going higher" in value.

Carl Icahn on bitcoin: I just 'don't get it'

More than half of all respondents have a pessimistic view of bitcoin. A third of respondents admitted they do not know enough about bitcoin to have an opinion.

The CNBC Global CFO Council represents some of the largest public and private companies in the world, collectively managing more than $4 trillion in market capitalization across a wide variety of sectors.

On Wednesday the cyrptocurrency hit an all-time high of more than $11,000, before plunging 20 percent. On Thursday the trade stabilized and bitcoin was trading at $9,487.82.

U.S.-based members of the CNBC Global CFO Council are most bearish on bitcoin, with just under 35 percent having a favorable view, while EMEA-based CFO Council members are the most bullish, with 57 percent of respondents maintaining a favorable view.

"It is something we are curious about, we're very very open to, but we haven't found a way to really integrate it into our business," Karim Hajjar, CFO for the Belgian chemical company Solvay, told CNBC in November.

The jury's out on bitcoin, says Solvay CFO Karim Hajjar

The survey was conducted from Nov. 3 to Nov.16, 2017. Among the 97 members of CNBC's Global CFO Council, 43 responded to the survey (24 U.S., 10 EMEA and 7 APAC).