A member of the executive board at the European Central Bank (ECB) has asserted that the authority keeping tabs on cryptocurrencies.
In an interview published in late October, ECB executive board member Benoît Cœuré touched on the institution’s stance on cryptocurrencies, deeming them as “speculative financial instruments” at a time when bitcoin nears its all-time high above $7,500 with value gains over 650% since the turn of the year.
When asked why the ECB and other central banks are ignoring bitcoin amid a boom in awareness and adoption, Cœuré stated:
We aren’t ignoring them. At the moment, cryptocurrencies don’t pose any monetary risk because the amounts involved are marginal. They are speculative financial instruments which create risks of a financial or even criminal nature.
He went on to add that central banks around the world are watching cryptocurrencies closely “because they can spread rapidly”. Countries that “are moving away from banknotes and coins” to research and develop their own digital currencies are also monitoring cryptocurrencies, Cœuré said.
Earlier in September, ECB president Mario Draghi said “it’s not within our powers to prohibit…or regulate bitcoin”, before stating separately that the cryptocurrency was still too immature to warrant any regulation from the authority.