European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde on Wednesday called for global measures to regulate Bitcoin, stating that the leading crypto is being used by money launderers and that loopholes need to be closed.
“[Bitcoin] is a highly speculative asset that has done some funny business and some interesting and totally objectionable money laundering activity, ”Lagarde said in an interview at the Reuters Next conference.
For the most part, the crypto sector is still lightly monitored or unregulated, although global standards have emerged in areas such as anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC).
Lagarde, who did not provide specific examples of the use of crypto for money laundering, narrowly avoided a one-year prison sentence in 2016 when she was convicted of a crime she committed as French finance minister.
French judges found Lagarde negligent for failing to challenge a € 400 million payout in state arbitration to a friend of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, The Independent reported.
Many commercial banks under Lagarde’s sphere of influence have further undermined their credibility in the eyes of critics and have been investigated and fined for money laundering.
“All ten largest banks in Europe, including HSBC, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Société Générale and Santander, have fallen victim to anti-money laundering authorities, while recent crises such as ING, Danske Bank and Deutsche Bank only reinforce this impression that no bank is immune to money laundering sanctions no matter how big it is, ”reported The Week.
In March 2020, Fortune reported, “Regulators have fined banks nearly $ 10 billion over a 15-month period through 2019. The number is expected to increase in 2020. 60.5% of the fines came from banks that violated anti-money laundering rules. “
Lagarde’s statement was largely mocked on Twitter.
Bitcoin billionaire Tyler Winklevoss tweeted, “That irony is so rich. #Bitcoin is a response to all of the “fun business” central bankers have done to people for centuries. Bitcoin is a movement that will stay here, it will never go away. “
That irony is so rich. #Bitcoin is a response to all of the “fun business” central bankers have done to people for centuries. Bitcoin is a movement that will stay here, it will never go away. Http://t.co/pzOM6CGU6j
– Tyler Winklevoss (@tyler) January 13, 2021
Tahinis Restaurants, a Canadian chain that converted its cash reserve into bitcoin, tweeted that the top crypto rollout was a reaction to currency deterioration caused by central bank money printing: “Haha! When you print trillions and millions of people steal years of work. The world is developing a way to respond. It’s time”
Max Keizer, host of RT’s Keizer Report and veteran hard money attorney, suggested that the central banker’s efforts to tame Bitcoin would prove utterly in vain. He tweeted, “Christine Lagarde orders all triangles to be 200 degrees, Gold’s atomic weight to 42 degrees, gravity to stop working in Jamaica, water to stop being wet, and kangaroos to put on cooking shows.”
Christine Lagarde orders all triangles to be 200 degrees, Gold’s atomic weight to 42 degrees, gravity to stop working in Jamaica, water to stop being wet, and kangaroos to put on cooking shows. pic.twitter.com/pLUOUjdBPI
– Max Keizer (@maxkeiser) January 13, 2021