Crypto-popularity of ‘big concern’ for Irish central banker
Irish Central Bank official Derville Rowland says the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin is “of great concern.”
“Crypto assets are a fairly speculative and unregulated investment,” Central Bank of Ireland Chief Financial Officer said mentionned. She added that people should be “really aware that they could lose all of this investment.”
Rowland has now joined a host of central bankers voicing concerns about the growing importance of cryptocurrencies. Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey has repeatedly pointed out that cryptocurrencies have no intrinsic value, calling them “dangerous.”
Last week, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda also commented on the exceptional volatility of bitcoins, saying “they are hardly used as a means of settlement.”
Rowland’s growing influence
In leading his department at the Central Bank of Ireland, Rowland has been serious in imposing fines on some of the country’s largest financial firms. His attitude towards cryptocurrencies could have important implications for further adoption of crypto by the country on the European front.
In July, Rowland will assume her new role as Chair of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) Standing Committee on Investment Management. As this department focuses on preparing regulations for the fund industry, his position as a senior official in a European wide regulator will give strength to his voice.
While preoccupied with crypto, Rowland’s new role will focus more on the growing gamification of investment products and services. She believes that a “gamified” approach to investing, popularized by trading applications like Robinhood. could soon become a problem in Europe.
Critics have accused Robinhood of turning commerce into a social activity, rather than approaching it more cautiously. In their minds, investors using message boards to make financial decisions instead of proper investment advice could be dangerously exposed.
Despite the lack of a timetable for the adoption of any new regulations, Rowland stresses that any new rule must be “technologically neutral”. In this, it means that “you don’t get better protections in older paper-based processes than in more online ones.”
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