“Cryptocurrencies Are Worth Nothing”, Says European Central Bank President

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Christine Lagarde
Christine Lagarde

Cryptocurrencies are worthless, says European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde.

“My very humble assessment is that it is worth nothing,” Lagarde said of crypto in an interview with Dutch talk show “College Tour” that aired Sunday.

“It is based on nothing,” she added. “There is no underlying asset to act as an anchor of safety.”

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Lagarde urged policymakers to regulate the space in order to protect amateur investors who are risking heavy money on digital assets. Cryptocurrencies have had a dramatic market crash this year. Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency in the world shed more than half of its value since its all-time high price in November 2021. 

“I’m concerned about those people who think it’s going to be a reward, who have no understanding of the risks, who will lose it all, and who will be terribly disappointed, which is why I believe that should be regulated,” Lagarde said.

One audience member in the show said they lost $7,469 after investing in Cardano (ADA), adding: “That hurts.”

The former International Monetary Fund chief’s comments on crypto are no surprise. Lagard has blasted cryptocurrencies citing concerns about the environmental impact of mining these tokens as well as their potential use in money laundering and sanctions evasion.

Her comments arrive at a time of amplified scrutiny surrounding the crypto market. The collapse of terraUSD, a controversial so-called stablecoin that was meant to always be worth $1 has made things worse for digital assets.

Several central banks are developing their own virtual alternatives to cash in response to the rapid adoption of digital currencies — the ECB being one of them. Lagarde said that a digital euro would be “vastly different” from private cryptocurrencies.