For Christine Lagarde, president of the European Central Bank (ECB), bitcoin is a threat whose regulation must be addressed on a global scale that could serve as an escape valve. In his own words, it is “a matter that has to be addressed globally, because if there is a leak, that leak will be used.”
During an interview with the . agency, Lagarde considered this Wednesday, January 13, that “international cooperation and multilateral action are necessary.” to push for consensual regulation that is firmly applied to bitcoin.
Among his motives, the head of the ECB referred to the use of bitcoin as a means of laundering money from criminal activities. Something that, in his opinion, is “totally reprehensible.”
Likewise, he assured that the cryptocurrency created by Satoshi Nakamoto has led to some “funny” deals. According to Lagarde, there are criminal investigations, and they will surely continue, that “clearly” demonstrate the use of bitcoin for illicit purposes.
Despite Lagarde’s appreciation, various studies have demonstrated the low use of bitcoin for illicit purposes, if compared in percentage terms with fiat money. Particularly with the dollar.
On the other hand, the executive stated that bitcoin could not be considered as money. «For those who have assumed that it could become a currency: I am terribly sorry, but this is an asset. A highly speculative asset, “he added.
Lagarde, the same one who has advocated for the indiscriminate printing of euros to infinitely finance the ECB and the creation of the digital euro, spoke specifically about recent bitcoin price movements. For her, the rise above $ 40,000 and the subsequent correction that pushed the price of the cryptocurrency back to $ 30,000 momentarily demonstrate her perception of bitcoin as a speculative asset.
A regulatory fence against bitcoin?
While Lagarde envisions a joint effort to globally regulate bitcoin users, there are already multiple individual efforts pointing in that direction. Both inside and outside Europe.
Until now, perhaps the closest thing to the wishes of the President of the ECB is the “travel rule”, which has already been claimed by the G20. Promoted by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), this regulation seeks cooperation between exchanges, by requiring that they share their clients’ data when transferring funds between platforms.
The case of the United States is also particularly noteworthy. As CriptoNoticias has reported, the Financial Crimes Control Office (FinCEN) of that country has proposed to force exchanges to provide data on their users to the authorities, in case they withdraw funds to self-guarded wallets. In other words: it is an effort against anonymity and privacy.
Due to its characteristics of censorship and the certain degree of privacy that it allows, These reactions from governmental instances have been foreseen by the bitcoiner environment. Even detractors such as investor Ray Dalio have seen a future of prohibition by force from governments towards bitcoin, if it “materializes”, reported this medium.