This morning, the governor-designate of the ECB, Christine Lagarde, spoke again about digital currencies.
In fact, during a hearing at the European Parliament Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, Lagarde addressed several questions, including some concerning cryptocurrencies.
Lagarde said she was in favour of exploring the idea proposed by the Governor of the Bank of England (BoE), Mark Carney, concerning a digital currency issued by the world’s leading central banks.
“I am very fascinated by his proposal regarding some of the key central banks forming a company and exploring the creation of a common digital currency”.
The idea would be to create a digital currency similar to Facebook’s Libra but issued by Central Banks.
Lagarde added that it is necessary to distinguish between digital currencies such as bitcoin, which are speculative and volatile instruments, and stable currencies, which are different and have a different future.
The latter, however, will have to comply with all the rules and regulations already in place, both with regard to money laundering and the financing of terrorism and with regard to financial stability.
With today’s words, Lagarde confirms her interest in the new technologies created by cryptocurrencies and also confirms that her specific interest is mainly focused on stablecoins and less on bitcoin or other decentralised cryptocurrencies.
Lagarde had already expressed her somewhat positive views with regard to decentralised cryptocurrencies which, however, are probably outside the ECB’s scope of action.
In any case, today’s seems to be a concrete step towards the exploration of the real possibility of creating a global digital currency of the Central Banks based on technologies similar to those of Libra, or of real cryptocurrencies.
Lagarde is not yet the Governor of the European Central Bank. In November, she will take over from the current Governor Mario Draghi, who is due to expire. At this point, it would not be surprising if, after becoming Governor, she and Mark Carney’s BoE initiated the research of such a digital currency.