Regulate Bitcoin? 'Not The ECB's Responsibility,' Says Mario Draghi

Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank, has said it’s not his institution’s job to regulate cryptocurrencies.

As part of the ECB’s #AskDraghi video series, the former Italian central banker said he has seen many users on Twitter ask if the ECB would regulate or even ban bitcoin.

In response, he said:

“It’s not the ECB’s responsibility to do that.”

Draghi also discussed whether he would recommend purchasing bitcoin in response to a question from a college student.

He indicated he would think “carefully” about buying bitcoin, explaining that he does not see it as a currency. While the euro’s value is stable, he added, “the value of a bitcoin oscillates wildly.”

Also hitting out at cryptocurrencies’ decentralized nature, he continued: “The euro is backed by the European Central Bank. The dollar is backed by the Federal Reserve. Currencies are backed by the central banks or their governments. Nobody backs bitcoin.”

This is not the first time Draghi has made such comments on cryptocurrencies and their regulation. The ECB chief said in September 2017, that the ECB itself has “no power” to regulate bitcoin, and, in November, he said that cryptocurrencies have a limited impact on the world economy.

At the same time as it published the video, the ECB released an explainer on bitcoin that goes into deeper detail on how the institution sees bitcoin.

In addition to echoing Draghi’s comments on price volatility and the lack of institutional or government backing, the explainer notes that bitcoin is not accepted widely and “transactions are slow and expensive.”

Furthermore, it adds that there are no legal protections for users who lose their bitcoins to theft if their wallet were to be hacked.

Mario Draghi image via ECB/YouTube

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