In a recent interview, Lagarde said Bitcoin has been used to conduct „strange business“ and „totally reprehensible money laundering activities.
European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde reiterated her insistence that global regulators must tighten rules to ensure that Bitcoin Compass is under more coordinated supervision.
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In an interview at the Reuters Next conference, in the midst of an unprecedented bull market for the veteran cryptomone currency, Lagarde argued:
„Bitcoin] is a highly speculative asset, which has made some interesting and totally reprehensible money-laundering activity.
While Bitcoin is pseudonymous, rather than anonymous, its distributed nature and complex interaction with jurisdictional regulatory frameworks presents a challenge to international authorities. During the interview, Lagarde did not refer to any specific case of money laundering involving Bitcoin, but referred to his knowledge of several criminal investigations into illegal activities related to its use. He told reporters:
„There has to be a regulation. This has to be applied and agreed upon […] on a global level because if there is a leak, that leak will be used.
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Lagarde has been consistent in advocating the need for international regulation of crypto currencies, stating in 2018 that their rise had been driven, in part, by the „herd mentality“ among those seeking high-yield financial products.
In September 2019, he adopted a more conciliatory tone, especially during a less overheated cryptomoney market. At that time, Lagarde balanced the need to mitigate the potential risks of cryptomonies by recognizing the potential „broader societal benefits of innovation“ that could be gained by allowing space for development.
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Meanwhile, Lagarde suggested that it could take up to four years for the eurozone to begin developing a digital euro.
Despite the Brexit, the European Union and Britain seem to be on the same page when it comes to private cryptomoney markets. In response to the intense volatility of Bitcoin in recent weeks, the UK’s financial regulator has issued a new warning to the public, telling citizens that they should be ready to lose everything they invest.