The former president of the European Central Bank (ECB), Jean-Claude Trichet, who served from 2003 to 2011, after a decade of governing the Bank of France, recently spoke at Caixin’s 10th annual conference in Beijing and shared his views on Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, and in his own diplomatic way, state-controlled digital currencies.
As recorded by South China Morning Post (SCMP), Trichet said that he is doubtful that cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin can ever become the future of money, due to their “architecture”.
While the x-ECB head understands the importance of blockchain technology alone and the fact that digital means of payment are indeed unavoidable, saying that Bitcoin is not suited for the job could mean only two things:
- He is afraid that the current financial system will lose its power to a decentralized and in his thoughts chaotic monetary system, hence he wants to blow the steam from Bitcoin’s 2019 attempt to climb the ladder.
- Knowing the fact that Bitcoin is decentralized and therefore hard to manipulate, he is gently trying to say “You almost guessed it”, the future of money is indeed a digital currency, but it is not Bitcoin, because Bitcoin is not what the traditional monetary power-brokers can control and directly influence.
“I am strongly against bitcoin, and I think we are a little complacent,” Trichet said during a panel discussion at the conference. “The currency itself is not real, with the characteristics that a currency must have.”
His views were no different for Facebook’s fintech venture Libra, which is again, compared to Bitcoin, extremely centralized, yet according to Trichet it is not centralized by the state, and if anything it should be also considered as a threat even if it’s using all legal means to become a reality, in a world were Bitconnect managed to get away with $10bn USD in stolen funds.
Bitcoin or not, digital money is here
A similar approach is expressed by other ECB and EU Commission members as well, some of them including Yves Mersch, Christine Lagarde, and Bruno Le Mair, who criticized ironically both Bitcoin and Libra, called the later anything from a cartel-like operation to something that should never enter European soil.
Yet and at the same time, they are fixing their ties and are calmed to talk about a European digital currency that would represent the digital euro, most likely inspired by China’s Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) DC/EP, which is the first state-backed blockchain-based currency to be deployed on a national scale.
Should Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies be worried? That’s totally up to the crypto community, as there is not a single centralized gov-body or organization to force Bitcoin or any other altcoin upon you.
Whether people use Bitcoin as a digital currency, an encrypted intel exchange protocol, a store of value, or a speculative investment, it is up to them if they want to keep using it or not.
Based on historical data and regardless of Bitcoin’s price, the last decade clearly indicates that not only do people choose to use it, but more people have been involved in Bitcoin transactions every single year since its launch, regardless of how hard the governments and central banks try to make it look like a ‘dangerous money-laundering tool that we, unfortunately, cannot control’.