Yet another prominent member of the established financial industry has expressed scepticism about Bitcoin. This time it is European Central Bank executive, Benoit Cœuré.
Cœuré: Bitcoin Is a Clever Idea, Just Not a Good One
Bitcoin and the rest of the cryptocurrency space has not had a very pleasant 24-hours. With prices plummeting and speculation over whether the Bitcoin Cash split occurring today is the cause, now probably is not the best time to be bringing news of yet another naysaying banker. Unfortunately, I must do just that.
According to a report in the Financial Times, Cœuré, a member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank (ECB), has become the latest member of the banking old guard to discredit the financial and technology innovation. The executive spoke in Basel, Switzerland, earlier today.
During his musings, he admitted there was some genius behind Bitcoin, but the digital currency was not necessarily positive for society:
“Lightning may strike me for saying this in the Tower of Basel — but Bitcoin was an extremely clever idea. Sadly, not every clever idea is a good idea.”
Cœuré went on to echo the sentiment of Mexican economist Agustín Carstens who famously said that Bitcoin shared characteristics with speculative bubbles, and Ponzi schemes, along with being a pending environmental catastrophe waiting to happen. Finally, Cœuré dismissed the importance of a decentralised monetary system by stating that such thinking was “evil spawn of the financial crisis.”
Although he did correctly identify that the crypto asset emerged immediately following the 2008 financial crisis, it is not made immediately clear how exactly an honest effort to free the world of the ill-effects of a corrupt central banking system is evil.
Related Reading: Crypto Economist Claims Bitcoin is the “Medicine You Need”
During the crisis, markets around the globe dropped in what was the largest crash since the Great Depression. It seems perfectly reasonable for people to seek an escape from such a system and Bitcoin offers just that escape. Like many of the insults coming from the banking sector towards Bitcoin, however, Cœuré makes little effort to explain why such a trustless, potentially democratisating system is so bad.
Alongside the likes of JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon’s famous “fraud” outburst, investing legend Warren Buffett’s “rat poison squared”, and Buffett’s sidekick Charlie Munger’s “scum-ball activity”, Cœuré’s “evil spawn” descriptor will certainly go down as one of the more creative insults against the cryptocurrency.
Of course, it is perfectly understandable for such leading bankers to reject Bitcoin publicly.
It would be much more convenient for this whole cryptocurrency thing to just disappear and we could go back to before when huge parts of the world’s population were not thinking quite so critically about money and the way the banking system works.