Market Musings

Bitcoin is Used for 'Funny Business' and Must Be Regulated Globally, Top Banker Says

Published on:
January 13, 2021

Christine Lagarde says Bitcoin has been used for some "funny business" — and calls for a clampdown.

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The president of the European Central Bank has called for Bitcoin to be regulated globally.


Speaking at the Reuters Next conference, Christine Lagarde said:

“[Bitcoin] is a highly speculative asset, which has conducted some funny business and some interesting and totally reprehensible money laundering activity.”

She stopped short of providing specific instances where money laundering had occurred using BTC — but pointed to how there have been criminal investigations into instances where Bitcoin has been used for illegal purposes.


Stressing that the fragmented nature of regulation needs to end, the former chair of the International Monetary fund added:

“There has to be regulation. This has to be applied and agreed upon ... at a global level because if there is an escape that escape will be used.”

Senior banking executives, including JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon, have warned that there is a real threat that Bitcoin could be regulated by the U.S. — especially if this cryptocurrency’s market cap continues to rise.


But what remains unclear is what regulations concerning Bitcoin would look like. The EU has already unveiled a framework for crypto exchanges to follow, and many trading platforms are obliged to verify the identities of their users before they can buy digital assets and execute transfers.


There was barely a flicker of acknowledgement in Bitcoin’s price following Lagarde’s remarks, but a global push to regulate BTC would likely send shockwaves through the crypto markets — and it would almost inevitably affect altcoins too.


Increasing institutional adoption of Bitcoin has thrown the issue of speculation into the spotlight, with banks unveiling plans to support crypto.


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