The governor of the bank of Spain, Luis María Linde, has suggested a cautious approach to cryptocurrencies, but says he still sees value in the underlying blockchain technology.
According to a local media report, the central bank chief - talking at an event yesterday organised by Deloitte - said that cryptocurrencies “present more risks than benefits,” remarking that digital currencies:
"have low acceptance as a means of payment, suffer extreme volatility, present multiple operational vulnerabilities and have been related to fraudulent or illicit activities in many cases."
Nonetheless, Linde sees substantial potential for blockchain technology more generally in the financial services sector.
Although he thinks that the technology is still “not quite mature,” he sees the benefits of distributed ledgers in that they can increase efficiency and reduce costs.
Linde also commented more generally that moving to a more digital economy carries risks of “greater cyber threats” and therefore the need for “new measures to protect processes, assets and customer data."
Mixed Regulatory Environment
These latest comments come at a time when jurisdictions around the world are rapidly having to make clear their stance towards cryptocurrency and blockchain.
Moves by nations such as Poland - who last week put their banking records on the blockchain, and the Marshall Islands - on Tuesday signing their own national sovereign cryptocurrency into law, contrast strongly with the attitudes of states such as India and Zimbabwe - both of whom recently banned insitutional crypto trading.
Featured Image Credit: "Banco de España (Bank of Spain)" by "Jorge Láscar" via Flickr; licensed under "CC BY 2.0"