The European Central Bank is considering whether to issue its own digital alternative to cash.
Olivier Matthys | AFP | Getty Images
“My humble assessment is that it’s worth nothing,” Lagarde said of cryptocurrencies in an interview on Dutch talk show “College Tour” which aired Sunday.
“It’s not based on anything,” he added. “There is no underlying asset that acts as a security anchor.”
Lagarde called on global policy makers to put rules in place to protect inexperienced investors making big bets on digital assets. Cryptocurrencies plummeted across the board this year, with bitcoin, the world’s largest, wiping out more than half of its value from November’s all-time highs.
“I’m worried about those people who think it will be a reward, who don’t understand the risks, who will lose everything and be terribly disappointed, which is why I believe it should be regulated,” Lagarde said.
An audience member of the show claimed he lost 7,000 euros ($ 7,469) after purchasing the token cardanto which Lagarde replied: “What bad”.
The former head of the International Monetary Fund’s cryptocurrency skepticism isn’t new. He previously raised concerns about the environmental impact of digital currencies, as well as their potential use in money laundering and sanction evasion.
His latest comments come in the direction of Greater control of the cryptocurrency market as regulators react to the fallout from the USD land crash, a controversial so-called stablecoin that was always supposed to be worth $ 1.
Several central banks are working on their own virtual alternatives to cash in response to the rapid growth of digital currencies – the ECB is one of them. A digital euro would be “very different” from private cryptocurrencies, Lagarde said.