After its humble beginnings in the United States, anti-cryptocurrency hysteria fuelled by money-laundering concerns began to spread to other countries. Ultimately, it has reached the European Central Bank (ECB), with the bank’s president outlining her stance on the subject. In the process, she also went some way to whitewashing fiat currencies’ reputation for money laundering.
The ECB president believes that cryptocurrencies are used for money laundering.
The comments came during a webinar organised by the European University Institute on 7th May 2021. Lagarde stated that “there are crypto assets… which people are free to invest in and take total risk into, and there are particular cryptos that are, in my view, so prone to money laundering activities.”
Lagarde also echoed the views of Andrew Bailey, the governor of the Bank of England, when she said that cryptocurrencies “have no intrinsic value”.
Bailey, himself a renowned cryptocurrency sceptic, did not waste the opportunity to reiterate his stance during an online conference on 6th May 2021: “I’m going to say this very bluntly again. Buy them only if you are prepared to lose all your money.”
Lagarde was quick to draw a distinction between cryptocurrencies and the stablecoins and digital currencies offered by central banks (CBDC). Therefore, the ECB’s digital euro does not feature on their list of competitors.
The ECB president spoke repeatedly about her concerns over the potential problems with cryptocurrencies. In her view, cryptocurrencies are “highly speculative assets, which have conducted some funny business and some interesting and totally reprehensible money laundering activities.”
Legions of cryptocurrency supporters reacted to Lagarde’s criticisms, notably, the fund manager and chief economist of Tressis Gestión, Daniel Lacalle: “That is absolutely outrageous when we all know that the vast majority of money laundering globally is conducted in fiat currencies, particularly in U.S. dollars and euros.”
What if cryptocurrency activists investigated how much money is laundered via fiat currencies and the traditional banking system? It is one way they could express their concerns about this form of finance. Similarly, they could highlight central banks’ abuse of quantitative easing all over the world since the 2008 financial crisis. At this point, all bets are off. Who cares if it means getting involved purely to attack the other side?
Ingénieur de formation, et spécialisé dans les nouvelles technologies, je me suis toujours intéressé à la blockchain et aux cryptomonnaies. Je suis heureux de faire partie de l'équipe CoinTribune.
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author, and should not be taken as investment advice. Do your own research before taking any investment decisions.
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