ECB President Christine Lagarde: Speculative bitcoin needs global regulation

13 Jan, 2021 22:37
source: Singularity Financial

Singularity Financial Hong Kong January 13, 2021 – European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde has called for bitcoin to be regulated at the international level in a speech at a Reuters online event Wednesday.

The “highly speculative asset” has led to “some reprehensible activity,” including money laundering, and any loopholes need to be closed, according to a report from Reuters. “There has to be regulation. This has to be applied and agreed upon … at a global level because if there is an escape that escape will be used,” she said.

ECB Chief also added there will be a digital euro, hopefully in no more than five years, according to other reports. The ECB has been looking into the benefits and risks of a euro-based digital currency since the Facebook-backed diem (formerly libra) project was announced in June 2019.

Meanwhile, Crypto-friendly regulator, Brian Brooks, who is currently leading the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), will leave the federal agency within the next few days, Politico’s Victoria Guida reported Tuesday.

Also crypto-knowledgeable Wall Street and CFTC vet Gary Gensler is expected to be named chairman of the SEC by Biden’s administration. As The Block’s Mike Orcutt wrote in November, Gensler is no crypto enthusiast — but he has highlighted the technology as one that exposes some of the underlying payments problems in the U.S. today.

Gensler, an MIT Sloan Business School professor and former chief financial officer for the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton, has commented publicly on the dynamics shaping the payments ecosystem today, including the emergence of projects like the Facebook-backed Libra, now known as Diem.

If nominated and confirmed, Gensler will take over an agency that is at the forefront of the U.S. government’s action on the crypto and blockchain front. Gensler would likely play a key role in any consideration of a bitcoin ETF, given renewed efforts to launch one in the U.S. and institutional interest in such products.