On Sunday (November 10), Jean-Claude Trichet , the former president of the European Central Bank (ECB), the central bank of the 19 European Union countries that have adopted the euro as their national currency, explained why he is strongly against Bitcoin.

According to a report by South China Morning Post (SCMP), Trichet’s comments about cryptocurrencies were made during a panel discussion on day three of the 10th Caixin Summit in Beijing, China.

Trichet said:

I am strongly against bitcoin, and I think we are a little complacent. The [crypto]currency itself is not real, with the characteristics that a currency must have.

Trichet, who served as the ECB’s president from 2003 to 2011, said that he was noticing “a lot of speculation”, which he considers “not healthy.”

He also said that he was “very much against” Libra, the Facebook-led stablecoin project that ECB executive board member Benoit Coeure said (two months ago) had been a “wake up call” for central banks. 

On Friday (November 8), Reuters reported that according to senior officials “progress on the feasibility of a digital currency backed by the European Central Bank could be made in the coming months.” 

The Reuters report went on to say that at a meeting of EU finance ministers on that day, the issue of EU’s answer to Libra came up.

Following the meeting, at a news conference in Brussels, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire admitted that it would take time to develop a digital currency backed by the ECB:

The fact that it is for the long term does not prevent us from working and having results next year.

The report went on to say that the EU’s finance commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis said that “Libra was a ‘wake-up’ call that showed there are gaps in the offer for cheap and fast cross-border payments in Europe.”

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