The Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, has slammed the rise of cryptocurrencies insisting the costs to mine bitcoin is ‘enormous‘ and that the energy consumption is worrying, declaring current costs of electricity consumption used to mine the coins are “double the electricity consumption of Scotland.” The UK’s leading banker claims that cryptocurrencies will replace fiat money like pounds, dollars and euros are “tenuous” at best, reports Coinlist.me.
In a speech to the Scottish Economics Conference at Edinburgh University today, Mark Carney said that that coins don’t pose a risk to the economy and warned against regulating the currencies, saying that authorities should be careful not do so at this time to ensure they do not “stifle innovations.”
“Even though their prospects of replacing fiat money are tenuous at best, cryptocurrencies are of growing interest to policymakers, many of whom prefer to term them crypto-assets expressly because they are not true currencies—a convention I will adopt for the balance of my remarks.” He said, continuing: “On the upside, as I will come onto in a moment, some of the underlying technologies are exciting. Whatever the merits of cryptocurrencies as money, authorities should be careful not to stifle innovations which could in the future improve financial stability; support more innovative, efficient and reliable payment services as well as have wider applications. On the downside, at present, crypto-assets raise a host of issues around consumer and investor protection, market integrity, money laundering, terrorism financing, tax evasion, and the circumvention of capital controls and international sanctions.”
Mark Carney’s comments on terrorism and money laundering are in stark contravention to a report published by the UK Government published last December. The Treasury’s report, National risk assessment of money laundering and terrorist financing 2017, insisted there was a “low risk” of cryptocurrency in relation to both activities.
You can watch the speech in full (50 minutes) below and a transcript is available here.
Oh, and thanks to Investoo for giving me the heads up.