ECB's Yves Mersch Calls Bitcoin a 'Major Threat' to Financial Stability

Yves Mersch has said bitcoin could pose a threat to economic stability if financial infrastructure institutions get involved with the cryptocurrency.

AccessTimeIconJan 2, 2018 at 1:30 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:19 a.m. UTC

European Central Bank (ECB) executive board member Yves Mersch has said bitcoin poses a threat to economic stability if financial infrastructure institutions get involved with the cryptocurrency.

In an interview with a German daily Börsen-Zeitung, Mersch said that bitcoin's trading volume is currently "comparatively low" and is therefore not an issue for monetary policy at present.

He warned, however:

"What concerns me most, is when financial market infrastructures such as stock exchanges enter this business. That poses a major threat to financial stability."

He also argued that the "speculative hype" surrounding the digital currency is also a cause of concern with respect to investor safety. Although "individual investors are free to gamble," he said they should not complain to the ECB if they lose their funds.

Mersch's comments come a month after he stated that banks need to implement "instant payments" as soon as possible to provide an alternative to the innovation brought by bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

And, back in 2016, he stated that blockchain technology has the potential to disrupt card-based payments. Innovative card-based solutions have "the potential to further boost card usage by replacing cash payments," he said at the time.

Euro sign image via Shutterstock

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