Mark Carney snubs cryptocurrencies

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          Governor makes Bitcoin predictions

The Bank of England governor Mark Carney wants cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin to be brought in line with the financial markets that are already regulated.

Carney endorsed the push by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to classify cryptocurrencies as securities subject to laws governing how they are issued and traded.

The Bank of England has warned that bitcoin faces a regulatory crackdown, warning that "inherently risky" cryptocurrencies are failing to fulfil their most basic function as money.

Canadian economist and Bank of England Governor Mark Carney unsurprisingly continued his anti-Bitcoin and anti-cryptocurrency rhetoric this morning in a speech to Bloomberg - in which he threw about as much FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) as one in his position can possibly throw.

"Cryptocurrencies act as money, at best, only for some people and to a limited extent, and even then only in parallel with the traditional currencies of the users". Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies fail at least two of these tests.

Carney noted that "extreme volatility", and said it reflected a a lack of any intrinsic value or external backing.

Facebook banned adverts for cryptocurrencies last month and Carney said on Friday that younger investors, who typically invested in them, were probably less aware of the bubbles in markets that led to the 2007-09 financial crisis. The price of Bitcoin soared at the end of last year, rising nearly six-fold in the last three months of the year.

More news: Throw the book at those making threats

In Carney's words: "The time has come to hold the crypto-asset ecosystem to the same standards as the rest of the financial system. That's quite a lottery", Carney said.

Carney believes that this would not only minimize money-laundering and consumer risks, but also help adapt the technology for wider public use.

Carney continued to state: "In the short run, the fixed supply of Bitcoin has fed a global speculative mania that has encouraged a proliferation of new cryptocurrencies". "I would have greater expectation of a series of national steps rather than some big coordinated approach...."

The bank's Financial Policy Committee is carrying out a study into the risks posed to United Kingdom financial stability by cryptocurrencies.

Global regulators on the Financial Stability Board are studying this, and the Governor said it is a topic for the G20 meeting later this month.

"A better path would be to regulate elements of the crypto-asset ecosystem to combat illicit activities, promote market integrity, and protect the safety and soundness of the financial system", he said.

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