“Bitcoin was an extremely clever idea. Sadly, not every clever idea is a good idea,” the European Central Bank Executive Board member said at the Bank for International Settlements in Basel.
Coeure traced cryptocurrencies’ faults to their origins, noting that Satoshi Nakamoto — the supposed creator of Bitcoin — mined the first block months after Lehman Brothers collapsed.
“Few remember that Satoshi embedded the genesis block with a Times headline from January 2009 about U.K. banks’ bailout. In more ways than one, Bitcoin is the evil spawn of the financial crisis.”
He also reminded his audience that BIS head Agustin Carstens is in a similar camp, after previously saying Bitcoin is “a combination of a bubble, a Ponzi scheme and an environmental disaster.”
Speaking a day after International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde urged central banks to look into issuing digital currencies, Coeure outlined the experiments that monetary authorities have been doing around the world on crypto tokens and distributed-ledger technologies.