Lagarde also expressed hope that the digital euro will be launched no later than five years from now.
During a speech at the virtual forum Reuters Next, the President of the European Central Bank (ECB) Christine Lagarde called bitcoin a “highly speculative asset” that criminals use to launder money. To close the existing “loopholes”, Lagarde called on market participants for global regulation of cryptocurrencies.
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- Since March 2020, the value of bitcoin has increased almost tenfold. According to Lagarde, the asset has ceased to be a niche product and is now actively bought up by retail investors, venture funds and even large corporations.
- The anonymous nature of cryptocurrency poses risks for money laundering. To combat illegal practices, the bitcoin market must be monitored globally. Lagarde stressed that “if there are loopholes, they will be used.”
- The expert noted the efforts of the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF) and said other global regulators should follow suit. For example, in 2021, the FATF intends to present new standards for regulating peer-to-peer platforms.
- Lagarde also expressed hope that the digital euro will see the light of day no later than in five years. The President of the ECB said that at least 8 thousand people took part in a survey related to the launch of the European digital currency.