Bank of England Head Warns Cryptocurrencies Are Dangerous

The governor of the Bank of England (BoE) Andrew Bailey, has once again expressed his concern about digital currencies.

Andrew Bailey is known for his reluctant stance on decentralised money, and last week had a very blunt warning for people investing in cryptocurrencies. He said cryptocurrencies “have no intrinsic value” and people should only buy cryptocurrencies if they are prepared to lose all their money.

But now he has gone one step further and reiterated his long-standing concern when Reuters reported that he said cryptocurrencies and similar assets were a danger to the public.

Dangerous crypto?

Bailey made his comments whilst speaking to lawmakers on Monday in London, during which Bailey stated that cryptocurrencies are “dangerous.”

“Crypto-assets,” as the central bank’s official labels bitcoin and the rest, present a danger to the public, Bailey reportedly told the British Parliament’s Treasury Committee.

“I’m sceptical about crypto-assets, frankly, because they’re dangerous and there’s a huge enthusiasm out there,” he told committee members.

The BoE head reportedly believes digital financial assets such as bitcoin do not fulfill key functions of a standard means of payment.

It should be remembered that the Bank of England in September 2014 warned that Bitcoin could pose a threat to financial stability in the UK should it see widespread adoption.

Value fluctuations

Bailey’s comments come amid wild fluctuations for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, that has seen the digital currency value rise, fall, rise again to record highs, before crashing back down again following comments from well known figures such as Elon Musk, and new restrictions in China.

There has also been fluctuations in the value of dogecoin, which is a digital token created as a joke in 2013.

Last month the Bank of England and HM Treasury announced that the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak had asked them to look at the case for a new “Britcoin”, or central bank-backed digital currency.

A taskforce has been created to look into this possibility.

But regulators and central banks around the world have typically not been overly keen on digital currencies.

In 2019 the chairman of the US Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, said that Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency project, “cannot go forward” until serious concerns are addressed.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

View Comments

  • Yes Crypto -currencies are dangerous especially when they are not traceable, perfect for criminals as their go to form of payment. Time to make the use of non-traceable currency illegal to purchase. Immediately blocking the profit element for cyber attacks/ransomware etc.

    Is there any real value in having a token of value based on a mathematical algorithm rather than something tangible like gold or a countries value? None that I can see, not to mention the energy costs in supporting crypto-currency.

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