European Central Bank (ECB) executive board member Benoit Coeure has recently revealed he believes cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are the “evil spawn” of the 2008 financial crisis. Per Coeure, bitcoin was an “extremely clever idea,” but not “every clever idea is a good idea.”
Coeure’s words, according to Bloomberg, came as he was speaking at the Bank for International Settlements in Basel. He noted that bitcoin was created in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, and that the cryptocurrency’s creator Satoshi Nakamoto mined the genesis block months after Lehman Brothers went down.
He was quoted as saying:
Few remember that Satoshi embedded the genesis block with a Times headline from January 2009 about U.K. banks’ bailout. In more ways than one, Bitcoin is the evil spawn of the financial crisis.
The ECB executive board member reportedly also reminded his audience that the head of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), Agustin Carstens, has in the past claimed bitcoin is a “combination of a bubble, a Ponzi scheme, and an environmental disaster.”
As CryptoGlobe covered, Carstens has advised crypto enthusiasts to “stop trying to create money” earlier this year. To the BIS chief, it would be better for them to use their talents on something else.
A report publish by the BIS earlier this year also argued that “cryptocurrencies promise a lot, but they don’t always deliver.” The reported mentioned the high cost of creating decentralized trust, cryptos’ inability to scale while dealing with an increasing number of transactions, and more.
Coeure’s words come shortly after the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, claimed banks should “consider launching digital currencies.” While speaking at a conference in Singapore, the former French Minister of Economic Affairs noted blockchain technology is “safe, cheap, and potentially semi-anonymous,” and that central banks should explore the use cases for their own cryptos.
The ECB board members seemingly reacted to the proposal and outlined various experiments that have been done with cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology by financial authorities.
He noted, however, that while most central banks are studying the nascent technology “there is broad agreement that a central bank digital currency, in whatever form, is unlikely to be issued within the next decade.”
Notably back in September the European Commission’s Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis stated that after changing their views on cryptoassets, the European Union’s finance ministers realized cryptos are “here to stay.”