While speaking at a press conference in Frankfurt, Germany, European Central Bank (ECB) vice-president Vitor Constâncio addressed bitcoin and joined JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon in comparing the cryptocurrency to the 17th-century tulip bubble in the Netherlands.
According to Reuters, Vitor Constâncio stated that bitcoin isn’t a currency, but a mere instrument of speculation for those who want to bet on something that can go up or down 40% in a few days. Notably, while speaking to a panel that included Steven Maijoor, chairman of the European Securities and Markets Authority, the banker stated:
“I’m surrounded by two Dutch nationals so I can say that bitcoin is a sort of tulip. It’s indeed an instrument of speculation for those that want to bet on something that can go up and down 50 or 40 percent in a few days, but certainly not a currency, and certainly we don’t see it as a threat to central banking or monetary policy, that’s for sure.”
Bitcoin’s growth this year, from about $960 to $3,784, has reportedly been worrying bankers throughout the world, as it poses a threat. Vitor Constâncio, however, denied that the cryptocurrency poses a threat to the monetary policy, and instead decided to compare it to the 17th-century tulip bubble.
As Reuters points out, last year the ECB stated that cryptocurrencies could erode its power over the supply of money, and as such invited European Union (EU) lawmakers to tighten regulations.
As covered by Core Media, Vitor Constâncio isn’t the only banker swinging at bitcoin. Earlier this month, Jamie Dimon, JP Morgan’s chief executive, stated that bitcoin was a “fraud”, and added that he would fire any JP Morgan employee trading the cryptocurrency because it was both against the rules and “stupid.”
Jamie Dimon’s comments led bitcoin’s price down by about 24%. After the fall, the bank bought about €3 million worth of bitcoin ETNs, reportedly on behalf of its clients. The move, taking into account its CEOs comments, led a Swedish bitcoin market maker – Blockswater – to file a market abuse report against Jamie Dimon for “spreading false and misleading information” about bitcoin.
ECB vice-president Vitor Constâncio’s comments, at press time, seemingly didn’t affect the cryptocurrency’s price. Bitcoin is currently up by 2.18% in the last 24 hours, according to data from CryptoCompare.