Coming close after the 10th anniversary of the Bitcoin [BTC] whitepaper, it seems that central banks around the world have begun feeling the creeping fear of decentralization. The latest in a series of remarks against Bitcoin by a so-called “expert” comes from, Benoît Cœuré, a French economist who is a part of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank, who recently gave a speech at the Economics of Payments Conference.
Over the course of his speech, he spoke about how a large percentage of central banks were looking into Central Bank Digital Currencies [CBDC] while simultaneously calling Bitcoin the “evil spawn of the financial crisis”. Cœuré began by speaking about the genesis of Bitcoin, and how the first block had a headline about the bailout from the United Kingdom’s banks, calling upon this point to brand Bitcoin as the evil spawn of the crisis. He went on to say:
“Bitcoin was an extremely clever idea. Sadly, not every clever idea is a good idea. The opportunities of the blockchain are many, but the problems of Bitcoin are also plentiful.”
He further quoted Agustín Carstens, the General Manager of the Bank for International Settlements, who has previously stated that Bitcoin is “a combination of a bubble, a Ponzi scheme, and an environmental disaster”. However, the economist also stated that there are many things that “we do not understand”, elaborating that things are moving rapidly in the DLT space.
For this, he quoted the example of Sveriges Riksbank, who are proposing amendments to the Sveriges Riksbank Act. This is in order to have a regulatory structure in place to introduce a new currency known as the e-krona, a Central Bank Digital Currency. He stated:
“A clear majority, 69%, is currently, or will soon be, conducting work related to CBDCs.”
Cœuré also highlighted the difference between the CBDC that are currently being tested, namely a wholesale payment application, which is restricted to large-scale and high-priority transactions, or a widely available payment instrument made available to consumers. However, he also stated:
“There is broad agreement that a CBDC, in whatever form, is unlikely to be issued within the next decade, even among those four central banks that have indicated that they have reached the stage of developing a pilot project.”
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