- The president of the European Central Bank, Christine Lagarde, calls for the creation of global regulation for Bitcoin.
- Lagarde accuses BTC of enabling money laundering and illegal activities.
The news agency Reuters reports that the president of the European Central Bank (ECB), Christine Lagarde, has called for global regulations on Bitcoin. Lagarde believes that the cryptocurrency is used for money laundering and illegal activities. Therefore, she calls for closing regulatory “loopholes.”
The President of the ECB participated in the “Reuters Next” online conference. There she also declared that Bitcoin is a “highly speculative asset” used to conduct “funny business”. Although she did not mention any specific case, according to the Reuters report. Lagarde stated:
There has to be a regulation. This has to be enforced and agreed upon … on a global level because if there is a leak, that leak will be used.[Bitcoin] is a highly speculative asset, which has conducted some funny business and some interesting and totally reprehensible money laundering activity.
Will Europe regulate Bitcoin?
The Reuters report adds that Bitcoin is “mostly anonymous.” However, statements from Europol’s European Cybercrime Center (EC3) confirmed that it is possible to investigate and track illegal activity involving Bitcoin and Ethereum transactions.
Along these lines, numerous members of the crypto industry have attempted to deny that Bitcoin is a privacy coin, like Monero, and clarify the belief among institutions that have perceived BTC as an asset used primarily to commit crimes.
In 2020, the European Union adapted a “Digital Finance Package” and issued new regulations for digital assets. According to the new regulation, stablecoin issuers and crypto exchanges must provide more information about their activities in order to operate in Europe.
It was also revealed that the financial institution will conduct a “sandboxed” pilot program to thoroughly study how cryptocurrencies operate in an environment with more regulatory flexibility. The goal of the program is to provide regulators with more experience in dealing with this asset class in a “real world” scenario.
Finally, the president of the European Central Bank told the Reuters conference that she expects the digital euro to be introduced before 2025. However, she did not give a specific date, but made several references to the importance the institution attaches to creating a secure product for users:
It’s really hard to say because things in the fintech world are moving super-fast, so we need to really not just be alert, but we need to be to be running safely
The institution has published a report at the end of 2020 that highlights the importance of the Digital Euro. Currently, the ECB is in the first stage of building the central bank digital currency (CBDC). As part of that phase, the ECB opened a public comment period which, according to Lagarde, received nearly 8,000 responses.