European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde said cryptocurrencies are “worth nothing” on a Dutch television program aired Sunday, calling for greater regulation over what she described as “highly speculative assets.”

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Fast facts

  • “My very humble assessment is that [cryptocurrency] is worth nothing. It is based on nothing, there is no underlying assets to act as an anchor of safety,” Lagarde said. 
  • Lagarde’s comments come amid a highly volatile period in the crypto market; Bitcoin’s price has fallen roughly 20% in the last month while the total crypto market cap is down almost 30%. 
  • The French economist did distinguish between cryptocurrencies and the planned digital Euro project — which could be launched within four years — saying the latter’s value is backed by the ECB itself. 
  • Lagarde also discussed interest rates, saying the ECB is looking at a 25-basis point rise in July, downplaying the more radical 50-basis point increase floated by other European central banks. 
  • Bitcoin gained 3.5% to trade above the US$30,000 mark overnight in Asia and was sitting at US$30,337 at press time. 

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