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Bitcoin (BTC) should be regulated on a global scale, says ECB’s Lagarde

Christine Lagarde is concerned over the potential use of Bitcoin in money laundering activities and is calling for global regulation for the crypto.

Christine Lagarde / Image by: Wikimedia Commons

Thu, 14 Jan 2021, 14:30 pm UTC

European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde called for the global regulation of Bitcoin, the world’s largest crypto by market cap. The ECB Chief noted that BTC is a highly speculative asset and also expressed her concern about its potential use in money laundering activities.

In an interview at the Reuters Next conference on Wednesday, ECB President Christine Lagarde opined that Bitcoin is not a currency. “I mean, when you look at the most recent developments upward and now the most recent downward trend, it’s for those who had assumed that it might turn into a currency. Terribly sorry, but this is an asset,” the ECB chief said, according to Bitcoin.com.

The ECB head also pointed out the highly speculative nature of BTC as well as its potential use in illicit activities. “It’s a highly speculative asset, which has conducted some funny business and some interesting and totally reprehensible money laundering activity,” she added.

Lagarde argued that Bitcoin regulation is needed considering the number of investigations involving the cryptocurrency. “I think that there are criminal investigations that have taken place that I’m sure will continue to take place that demonstrates it very clearly,” she said. “And there has to be regulations. And this has to be applied and agreed upon,” she continued. However, she did not clarify what investigations she was referring to.”

Indeed, Bitcoin has been volatile in the past few weeks with price swings of up to 10 percent a day. BTC set a new all-time high when it soared to almost $42,000 last week before its price retreated, according to Business Insider. This week, its price bounced back once more and is trading at around $39,000 at the time of writing based on data from Coinmarketcap.

However, not everyone agrees with Lagarde’s views. “Bitcoin is the most regulated currency in the world,” Morgan Creek Digital partner Anthony Pompliano said. He added that the crypto “is already more regulated, and used less often for illicit purposes, than any other currency.”

Others also commented that Lagarde herself is a convicted felon and that the central banks such as ECB are the ones doing “funny business” with all their money printing activities. “Why are all the people trying to regulate bitcoin incredibly sketchy themselves? Lagarde was ‘found guilty of criminal charges over massive (400m euro) government payout’,” a Twitter user commented.

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