Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank (ECB) stated that it is not up to the ECB to regulate cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. The statements were made at the Committee on Economic and Monetary affairs at the European parliament.
Mr Draghi saw some material risks in Bitcoin though. He claimed that the size, range of use and the impact that this use would have on the economy. He mentioned that a preliminary investigation leads him to believe that it would be premature to consider it as a means of payment in the future. However, he said that they have not discussed any institutional position on the matter.
Certainly it’s not within our powers to prohibit or something similar or to regulate
These comments were also not planned as his prepared speech made no mention of digital currencies at all. It was more about the general economic outlook as well as particular monetary policy initiatives. This included comments that they were in the process of completing a decentralised approach to monetary policy.
This is not the first time that Mr Draghi waded into the cryptocurrency space. Last week he made headlines again by telling Estonia that they did not have the right to issue a token through an Ethereum based ICO. He claimed that the Euro is the Euro for a reason.
Although this may sound like a positive development for Bitcoin, the ECB does have its detractors who look down upon Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general. For example, a Board Member of Germany’s central bank stated that digital currencies were “unrealistic” and are nothing but a “plaything”.
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