Jean-Claude Trichet, former president of the European Central Bank (ECB), said at Caixin’s Beijing conference on Sunday that “[Bitcoin] itself is not real, with the characteristics that a currency must have,” according to a report by the South China Morning Post.
“I am strongly against bitcoin, and I think we are a little complacent,” he added. Trichet led the ECB from 2003 to 2011 after spending a decade as governor of the Bank of France.
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Trichet also expressed skepticism over the idea that cryptocurrencies could be the future of money. He said that buying cryptocurrencies is “in many respects pure speculation.”
“Even if [the cryptocurrency] is supposed to be based on underlying assets, I am observing a lot of speculation. It is not healthy.”
Trichet also spoke out against Facebook’s cryptocurrency project, saying that he was “very much against” Libra.
”Anything that is using distributed ledger technology…is clearly shaking the system,” ECB’s current president said in April
Trichet is only the latest of a number of authoritative monetary figures who have warned about the power that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies could potentially have to unseat the global economy.
In September, ECB board member Benoit Soeure said that cryptocurrencies could eventually “challenge the supremacy of the US dollar.”
Christine Lagarde, the newly appointed president of the ECB, said to CNBC in April that “I think the role of the disruptors and anything that is using distributed ledger technology, whether you call it crypto, assets, currencies, or whatever … that is clearly shaking the system.”
Association of German Banks recently called for creation of digital euro
However, there are some members of the European financial community who are taking a more inventive approach toward cryptocurrencies.
Indeed, Finance Magnates reported last week that the Association of German Banks, which is a lobby group that consists of more than 200 private commercial banks, has called for the development of a “programmable” digital euro and an underlying pan-European payments platform.
The Association claimed in a statement that digital money has advantages over the current financial system, including faster transactions and the ability to create smart contracts.
China is also reportedly working on the development of its own national digital currency.