ECB President Draghi: Cryptocurrency Impact Still 'Limited'

NEWS
Nikhilesh De
Nov 21, 2017 at 16:50 UTC

The head of Europe's central bank thinks cryptocurrencies are too low-impact to regulate.

Speaking to the European Parliament on Monday, Mario Draghi said digital currencies are not a threat to the ECB's control over the euro due to a lack of adoption within the 27-member economic bloc. As a result, cryptocurrencies' impact on the economy would be limited, according to Reuters.

He was quoted as telling lawmakers:

"We think that all this is pretty limited. So it's not yet something that could constitute a risk for central banks."

Draghi's remarks come just days after an ECB governing council member said central banks are trying to decide whether to regulate digital currencies. National Bank of Austria president Ewald Nowotny said lawmakers are asking themselves whether they should get involved in regulating cryptocurrencies, citing China's recent shutdown of bitcoin exchanges.

Indeed, this week's statements are the latest in which Draghi, who previously serves as head of Italy's central bank, has opined on the subject of cryptocurrencies – while also demurring on the question of whether the institution will ultimately pursue some form of regulation.

Draghi said the ECB would not regulate the space last month, telling the press that he saw bitcoin as being too immature to regulate.

He followed up by noting that people should "cherish" innovations in the financial sector, including cryptocurrencies, while still being wary of any potential risks.

Draghi also does not think the ECB can regulate bitcoin, telling the parliament's Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs in September that regulating cryptocurrencies falls outside the scope of the bank's powers.

Draghi image via Matthi / Shutterstock

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European Central BankMario Draghi

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