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ECB President: “crypto is worth nothing”

Lagarde urged global policymakers to enact rules to protect inexperienced investors who make large bets on digital assets. This year, cryptocurrency prices have plummeted across the board, with bitcoin, the world’s largest, losing more than half of its value since its all-time highs in November. 

Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank, believes cryptocurrencies are worthless. 

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

“It’s based on nothing,” she continued. “There is no underlying asset to act as a safety net.” 

“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 everything, and who will be terribly disappointed,” Lagarde said. 

One audience member said they lost 7,000 euros ($7,469) after purchasing the token cardano, to which Lagarde responded, “That hurts.” 

The former IMF chief’s scepticism of cryptocurrency is not new. She has previously expressed concerns about digital currencies’ environmental impact, as well as their potential use in money laundering and sanctions evasion.

Her latest remarks come at a time when the crypto market is under increased scrutiny as regulators deal with the fallout from the collapse of terraUSD, a contentious so-called stablecoin that was supposed to always be worth $1. 

In response to the rapid growth of digital currencies, several central banks, including the ECB, are developing their own virtual alternatives to cash. According to Lagarde, a digital euro would be “vastly different” from private cryptocurrencies.

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