Regulators are not renowned for their great love of cryptocurrencies.
Just last week, Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank, attacked bitcoin, saying the cryptocurrency is not a currency at all but an asset.
This Tuesday, however, Francois Villeroy de Galhau said that he does see a future in stablecoins – digital assets whose price is pegged to fiat currencies.
Villeroy de Galhau, the governor of the Bank of France, has also said in the past that he believes cryptocurrencies are not a form of currency.
But, speaking in Paris this Tuesday, the French regulatory official said that he sees a place for stable coins in the existing financial markets.
Tokenisation yes. Cryptocurrency no.
The Bank of France official also implied that he supports the tokenization of assets, something some other regulators have said they would like to see happen.
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“[The Bank of France is] observing with great interest initiatives in the private sector which aim at developing networks within which ‘stable coins’ would be used in transactions involving ‘tokenized’ securities or goods and services,” said Villeroy de Galhau.
Such statements are likely to be bittersweet to people working in the cryptocurrency space.
On the one hand, it vindicates the idea that blockchain and tokenization can be useful tools for financial services firms.
But for those that want to remove middlemen and make a fundamental change to the global financial markets, simply swapping existing one technology for another, while keeping existing structures in place, isn’t likely to sound like a good deal.
After praising stable coins, Villeroy de Galhau went on to slam bitcoin, calling the cryptocurrency a “speculative asset.”
For its advocates, bitcoin, of course, represents an inflation-free currency that can be used to make transactions without government interference.
Thus, it’s unsurprising that Villeroy de Galhau, like other central bank employees, doesn’t like bitcoin. After all, the bitcoin fans don’t like them either.