Thursday 23 May 2019

Mario Draghi says it's not his job to regulate Bitcoin

Francesco Canepa

It is not the European Central Bank's job to regulate Bitcoin, its President Mario Draghi said on Tuesday, but he warned the public about the risks associated with the volatile cryptocurrency. Calls are growing for authorities, including central banks, to step in and regulate the market for digital tokens.

But Mr Draghi said in a video response to questions from the public that banning or regulating such tokens was not one of the ECB's tasks.

"Many of you posted questions about whether the ECB is going to ban Bitcoins or it's going to regulate Bitcoins," Mr Draghi said.

"I have to say it's not the ECB's responsibility to do that."

The head of the Bank for International Settlements, Agustin Carstens, called last week for central banks to end what he described as the "Ponzi scheme" of cryptocurrencies, by restricting their access to banks and financial infrastructure.

Central bank chiefs are expected to discuss the matter at a G20 meeting in Buenos Aires in March. Answering a question from a member of the public about whether he should buy Bitcoin, Mr Draghi struck a cautious tone.

"Frankly, I would think (about) it carefully," he said.

Mr Draghi pointed out that the value of Bitcoin had oscillated much more wildly than that of the euro and is not backed by any public institution. (Reuters)

Irish Independent

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