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Bitcoin has enabled criminal money laundering and needs to be regulated at a global level, ECB president Lagarde says

Published by Business Insider on Wed, 13 Jan 2021

<p><img src="https://static6.businessinsider.com/image/5fff03d2fe7e140019f7ea4a-2400/GettyImages-1212001166.jpg" border="0" alt="Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank, speaks to the media following a meeting of the ECB governing board" data-mce-source="Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images" data-mce-caption="Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank, speaks to the media following a meeting of the ECB governing board"></p><p></p><bi-shortcode id="summary-shortcode" data-type="summary-shortcode" class="mceNonEditable" contenteditable="false">Summary List Placement</bi-shortcode><ul><li><strong>Bitcoin has enabled criminal money laundering and must be regulated at a global level, ECB President Christine Lagarde told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday.&nbsp;</strong></li><li><strong>Bitcoin is a "highly speculative asset which has conducted some funny business and some interesting and totally reprehensible money laundering activity," Lagarde said.</strong></li><li><strong>"There has to be regulations and this has to be agreed upon" at a global level, Lagarde told Reuters.</strong></li><li><strong data-stringify-type="bold"><a href="https://newsletter.businessinsider.com/join/4np/10-things-opening-bell'utm_source=markets&amp;utm_medium=ingest" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" data-stringify-link="https://newsletter.businessinsider.com/join/4np/10-things-opening-bell" data-sk="tooltip_parent" aria-describedby="sk-tooltip-4053">Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell</a></strong><strong data-stringify-type="bold">.&nbsp;</strong></li></ul><hr><p><a href="https://markets.businessinsider.com/currencies/btc-usd">Bitcoin</a> needs to be regulated on a global level, ECB president Christine Lagarde <a href="https://www.reuters.com/video/watch/ecbs-lagarde-says-bitcoin-conducted-funn-id724167311">told Reuters</a> in an interview on Wednesday.</p><p>Lagarde said bitcoin is not a currency, but is instead a "highly speculative asset which has conducted some funny business and some interesting and totally reprehensible money laundering activity," according to the interview.</p><p>Bitcoin isn't a currency as evidenced by its wild swings over the past few weeks, Lagarde argued. The cryptocurrency has surged more than 300% in 2020, but after topping out above $40,000 last week the digital asset dropped by more than 20%.&nbsp;</p><p>"I think that there are criminal investigations that have taken place that I'm sure will continue to take place that demonstrate it very clearly," Lagarde said.</p><p><em><strong>Read more:</strong>&nbsp;<a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/stocks-to-buy-50-under-owned-recovery-value-goldman-sachs-2021-1'utm_source=markets&amp;utm_medium=ingest'utm_source=markets&amp;utm_medium=ingest" target="_blank" rel="noopener">GOLDMAN SACHS: Buy these 50 under-owned stocks that will roar higher as growth and inflation lift off in 2021</a></em></p><p>The criminal activity and legal loopholes surrounding bitcoin is why it needs to be regulated on a global level, Lagarde said.</p><p>"There has to be regulations and this hast to be applied and agreed upon at a global level because if there is an escape, that escape will be used," Lagarde said, adding that global cooperation is needed.</p><p>Lagarde sees rules on bitcoin potentially being initiated at the G7 level, then moved to the G20, and then expanded to other countries.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Global regulation has been the <a href="https://markets.businessinsider.com/currencies/news/bitcoin-price-kevin-oleary-regulations-institutional-investors-weep-cryptocurrency-2020-12-1029919028">crux of bearish bitcoin arguments</a> in recent years, but there has yet to be significant movement on the regulatory front.</p><p>However, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin did&nbsp; propose new rules in December that would require certain crypto traders to provide more information about their identities and transactions. It remains unclear if that proposal will be enacted before Mnuchin is replaced by Janet Yellen in a Joe Biden administration.</p><p>The price of bitcoin moved up about 2% to $34,350 in Wednesday trades.</p><p><strong data-stringify-type="bold"><em data-stringify-type="italic">Read more:</em></strong><em data-stringify-type="italic">&nbsp;</em><em data-stringify-type="italic"><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/etfs-to-buy-picks-predictions-ark-bitcoin-cannabis-geraci-2021-2021-1'utm_source=markets&amp;utm_medium=ingest" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" data-stringify-link="https://www.businessinsider.com/etfs-to-buy-picks-predictions-ark-bitcoin-cannabis-geraci-2021-2021-1" data-sk="tooltip_parent">An ETF expert breaks down his top 5 predictions for the industry in 2021 - including 4 funds that are among the best to buy, and why ARK Invest won't be able to repeat its dominance</a></em></p><p><img src="https://static3.businessinsider.com/image/5fff0e95fe7e140019f7ea88-832/markets insbitc.JPG" border="0" alt="markets insbitc.JPG" data-mce-source="Markets Insider"></p><p><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/bitcoin-enabled-criminal-money-laundering-regulated-ecb-president-says-2021-1#comments">Join the conversation about this story &#187;</a></p> <p>NOW WATCH: <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/pikes-peak-hill-climb-colorado-most-dangerous-racetrack-2020-2">Why Pikes Peak is the most dangerous racetrack in America</a></p>
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