Canada’s central bank governor has become the latest to speak out against bitcoin, claiming that trading in it is akin to ‘gambling.’
Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland at The Sanctuary, Stephen Poloz, the governor of the Bank of Canada, argued that cryptocurrencies were ‘not currencies,’ reports CNBC, adding:
I’m not really sure what they are. They are not assets really … I suppose they are securities technically … There is no intrinsic value for something like bitcoin so it’s not really an asset one can analyze. It’s just essentially speculative or gambling.
Poloz’s comments come at a time when the market is experiencing heightened interest amid a surge in new investors that saw prices soar last year. However, with the market remaining volatile many have called for it to be regulated. So too has Poloz.
I have no doubt that at least for the purposes of consumer protection … We will be developing regulations around this space in due course. But what we are being careful to do here is to not stifle innovation.
The list of critics against bitcoin continues to grow. Recently, Axel Weber, the chairman of UBS, said that he didn’t recommend bitcoin as an investment choice as it is a ‘speculative investment.’
Yet, while Poloz doesn’t appear too keen on bitcoin, he’s in favor of the blockchain. In his opinion, the distributed ledger is ‘a true piece of genius and it will be applied to many many areas in the economy.’ This can be seen by the fact that the bank has a project named Jasper, which is looking into the use of the technology.
Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan, has a similar stance. As one of the biggest critics of bitcoin, he called the digital currency ‘a fraud‘ back in September, but he remains a fan of the blockchain.
In a project called the Interbank Information Network (IIN), built on Quorum, an Ethereum-based blockchain network, the Wall Street bank has teamed up with the Royal Bank of Canada and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group to create a system aimed at reducing the number of parties needed to verify global payments.
However, if there was the option of introducing a bank-based digital currency to curb market competition, Poloz believes that the fiat system is ‘still doing its job.’
For now, ‘no one’s in a rush’ to issue such a currency, claims Poloz.
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