Lagarde bets on a global regulation of bitcoin for being “highly speculative”

The ECB leader calls for coordinated action and has also referred to the digital euro as a project that she hopes will be a reality in five years


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The president of the European Central Bank (ECB), Christine Lagarde, has called for a global regulation of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, which it has described as a “highly speculative asset”, which, apart from “fun businesses” has also been shown to be used for “reprehensible activities” such as money laundering.

“It is a highly speculative asset”, Lagarde said when referring to bitcoin during the ‘Reuters Next’ conference, where he expressed the “absolute need” to approach the regulation of these assets from a global perspective, “since there is a way out , that escape route will be used. ”

“I think that global cooperation and multilateral action like the one started in the G7 and later transferred to the G20 is absolutely necessary, but it is something that needs to be addressed,” said the French president. The price of bitcoin registered a rise of around 6% this Wednesday, reaching almost 35,000 dollars, a price that represents a revaluation of 19% so far this year and of more than 300% in twelve months , with an estimated market capitalization of almost 650,000 million dollars (534,327 million euros).

Digital euro in five years

On the other hand, and in an “absolutely different” category, the President of the ECB highlighted the strong interest of European citizens regarding the development of a digital euro, which Lagarde hopes will be a reality in a period “of no more than five years “, although he stressed that the creation of this centralized digital currency it will not mean the disappearance of cash.

“It is difficult to say (how far we are from the digital euro) because in the fintech world things change very quickly and we not only need to be alert but to move forward safely,” explained the central banker of the euro zone, who has assured that it is not something “for tomorrow”, but that it will take time, although he has expressed his conviction that “there will be a digital euro” because the ECB must respond to the demand of citizens and “that demand this”.

In this sense, the French has highlighted the Record participation during open consultation period by the ECB since last October and which ended this Tuesday and in which 8,221 comments have been collected from citizens, companies and industrial associations. According to the preliminary analysis of the responses received, 41% of the total asked the ECB to implement features in the digital euro to guarantee the privacy of payments.

Behind were aspects such as security (17%) or having a pan-European scope (10%). “The high number of responses to our survey shows the great interest in Europe’s citizens and businesses in shaping the vision of a digital euro”, underlined the member of the ECB Executive Committee Fabio Panetta.

The issuing institute will publish a full analysis of the responses received throughout the spring and it will be an “important” aspect to take into account when deciding whether to give the final go-ahead for the digital euro project. The scenarios currently being considered by the Eurosystem in which the issuance of a digital euro might be necessary include that the growth in demand for electronic payments necessitates a risk-free form of digital and European payment, a “significant” drop in the use of the cash as a form of payment, the launch of private forms of payment that raise regulatory concerns, and a widespread adoption of digital currencies by other central banks.

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