How much are crypto assets worth? It depends on the asset—and who you ask. Coinbase puts Bitcoin at $29,900. CoinMarketCap says Ethereum is worth $2,003. European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde, meanwhile, reportedly believes crypto assets aren’t worth anything.
Politico reports(Opens in a new window) that Lagarde, who led the International Monetary Fund from 2011 to 2019 and became president of the European Central Bank that same year, recently discussed the issue of crypto assets for an episode of a Dutch show called “College Tour” set to air the night of May 22.
“I have said all along the crypto assets are highly speculative, very risky assets,” Lagarde reportedly said during the interview. “My very humble assessment is that it is worth nothing. It is based on nothing, there is no underlying assets to act as an anchor of safety.”
Lagarde’s comments arrive during a particularly odd time for the crypto market. The rise of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms, and growing acceptance of cryptocurrencies among traditional businesses have made crypto assets more popular than ever.
At the same time, the value of many cryptocurrencies has tumbled recently, with Bitcoin tumbling from $69,000 per coin in November 2021 to roughly $29,000 at time of writing. The crypto ecosystem and its participants have also become increasingly attractive targets for hackers.
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Lagarde reportedly told “College Tour” she’s more keen on central bank digital currencies—which are digital versions of established currencies like the US Dollar, Euro, and Yen—than unregulated crypto assets that have risen to prominence in the last few years.
“The day when we have the central bank digital currency, any digital euro, I will guarantee it,” she said, according to Politico’s report on the interview, which hasn’t aired at time of writing. “So the central bank will be behind it. I think that is vastly different from any of those things.”
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