The President of the ECB is taking part in a reflection on how to regulate crypto-actives. However, this future regulation would only apply to digital currencies. Bitcoin safe? A priori yes, Christine Lagarde refusing to call it a currency.
Even Christine Lagarde, the president of the ECB, cannot escape the subject of Bitcoin. In an interview on BFM Business, she had the opportunity to express her position on the subject of crypto-active.
And for her, there is no doubt that Bitcoin can in no way be equated with currency. However, the first of the cryptomonies is not the only one in this case. Christine Lagarde broadens the spectrum.
The crypto-actives not currency
« It’s not a currency. The crypto-actives, it’s not a currency. It’s a highly speculative asset », the President of the European Central Bank told MEPs.
These assets should therefore escape the current thinking of financial regulators. Indeed, Lagarde says she is participating in a regulatory project on crypto-assets. However, she specifies that it would apply to those that are similar to a currency.
By refusing Bitcoin the status of a currency, she would therefore exclude it from a future regulatory framework. Nothing is less certain, however. Last month, the head of the ECB suggested that Bitcoin should be regulated.
Bitcoin « is a highly speculative asset, which has conducted some bizarre business and some interesting and totally reprehensible money-laundering activities, » she told the Reuters Next conference.
Regulation of private currencies or stablecoins
However, the director of the central bank now seems to want to focus primarily on private digital currencies. And to cite the example of the Diem, Facebook’s former Libra. The regulation would therefore focus first on the stablecoins.
« It is imperative that, if an activity is conducted by a private player, this activity, if it is similar to money, must be subject to exactly the same rules, exactly the same ratios, exactly the same supervision mechanisms, » Lagarde defends.
But are Bitcoin, Ether and other investment cryptosystems safe from the authorities’ wishes? To be continued. Christine Lagarde underlines the need to protect individuals.
« What is needed is that consumers are never defrauded and are fully informed of the nature of the risk they are taking. If they buy Bitcoin, it is a speculative asset, » she says.
And the president of the ECB once again cites the use of encryption in the financing of illegal activities on the « dark web ».