Dutch Central Bank Research Head ‘Not Opposed’ to Bitcoin

Pete Rizzo
Oct 2, 2015 at 22:25 UTC
news

De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) head of research Jakob de Haan has issued new responses to pointed questions about the role of bitcoin in global finance.

During a speech at the reinvent.money conference on 26th September, de Haan was asked several questions about bitcoin, including ones that referred to the euro derogatorily as a “bullshit fiat currency”, with unusual candor given his status at the Dutch central bank.

A newly surfaced video shows de Haan responding to the question of whether his organization is afraid it may be replaced by decentralized financial technologies, such as bitcoin, suggesting his institution remains open-minded about the technology.

De Haan said:

“Apparently, there are a few people convinced [digital currencies] are the future. Let’s wait and see. I’m not opposed to all these initiatives and if you’re right, the world will be very different and I will lose my job, but by then I’ll be retired I guess.”

De Haan went on to note that he was personally “not an expert” in bitcoin, but that the central bank is following the emerging technology closely and that researchers have been delved into the topic.

“You might think we are fundamentally opposed to these alternatives, we are not,” he said.

Further, he noted how the organization has taken steps to clarify to the public that digital currencies, while accepted as payment at select locations, don’t come with the same consumer protections as traditional alternatives, which it did in May 2014.

De Haan called such guidance “important” and countered a later question about whether it will be beneficial for the public should private currencies compete with public alternatives, by suggesting that bitcoin’s volatility against fiat currencies is an issue to its wider use.

De Haan concluded:

“Ordinary people benefit from price stability and that is the most important mandate for central banks.”

For more information, watch the full video below:

Image via reinvent.money