A former European Central Bank board member who previously made scathing comments about bitcoin will chair a new division of the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) focused on digital currencies. 

According to the press release on Nov. 11, Benoît Cœuré has been appointed to head the BIS Innovation Hub, beginning January 15, 2020. Cœuré, while still an executive board member of the European Central Bank, made headlines last year after telling Bloomberg that bitcoin was the “evil spawn of the [2008] financial crisis.”

Cœuré’s new position will oversee the BIS’s exploration into digital currencies and financial innovation. 

According to the release, 

The Hub's mandate is to identify, and develop in-depth insights into critical trends in technology affecting central banking; develop public goods in the technology space geared towards improving the functioning of the global financial system, and serve as a focal point for a network of central bank experts on innovation.

Agustin Carstens, General Manager of the BIS, said he is “delighted” to have Cœuré lead the Hub, and that the initiative reflects commitment by central banks to lay the foundation for financial innovation. 

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