European Central Bank Vice President Vitor Constancio laughed off any concern that bitcoin might challenge his institution’s control of euro-area money.
Speaking on a panel that included Dutchmen Steven Maijoor, chair of the European Securities and Markets Authority, and Lex Hoogduin, chairman of LCH Clearnet, the ECB official jokingly drew a parallel with a 17th-century bubble.
“I’m surrounded by two Dutch nationals so I can say that bitcoin is a sort of tulip. It’s indeed an instrument of speculation for those that want to bet on something that can go up and down 50 or 40 percent in a few days, but certainly not a currency, and certainly we don’t see it as a threat to central banking or monetary policy, that’s for sure.”
Bitcoin has fluctuated between $752 and $4,921 this year — and was around $3,600 on Friday as Constancio spoke at the European Systemic Risk Board conference in Frankfurt.