BANK of England (BoE) chief Mark Carney has said bitcoin has “pretty much failed” as a currency by standard benchmarks and is neither a store of value nor a useful way to buy items.

The governor made these comments whilst giving a talk to students at London’s Regent’s University.

Mr Carney said: “It has pretty much failed thus far on … the traditional aspects of money. It is not a store of value because it is all over the map. Nobody uses it as a medium of exchange.”

Like many others he believes that blockchain, the underlying technology which helps power bitcoin, could be used as a way to verify financial transactions in a decentralised way.

He also spoke about Brexit and said that in order to make the UK’s departure from the European Union (EU) as smooth as possible, British regulators intended to give financial institutions “the benefit of the doubt, beyond the last minute”

He said that both the UK and the EU are working hard to secure a transitional deal before the end of March.

Mr Carney said: “Everyone is very focused on that. It obviously won’t be a hard, legally binding agreement. But I can tell you that if 28 leaders agree to something that has legal text associated with it, which will be part of the separation agreement, that should be good enough.”

During the talk he also highlighted the importance of not being motivated by money. But rather financial professionals should focus on investment, innovation and prosperity in wider society.

He said: “Ten years ago the Bank’s graduate intake was comprised largely of economists drawn from just 11 universities. Last year, we hired from over 40 post-secondary institutions with half of the intake having studied sciences, business, law and the humanities.”

He explained how almost a half of new recruits at the BoE are now women and a quarter came from ethnic minority backgrounds.

This put down comes as Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum tweeted out a warning saying “Reminder: cryptocurrencies are still a new and hyper-volatile asset class, and could drop to near-zero at any time.

“Don’t put in more money than you can afford to lose. “If you’re trying to figure out where to store your life savings, traditional assets are still your safest bet.”

Bitcoin fell from a high of $19,535.70 in late December 2017 to $6,000 in January this year.

On Friday, bitcoin recovered the $10,000 mark for the first time in two weeks before easing to $9,844.82, down over 1 percent on the day.

According to CoinMarketCap, bitcoin now lies at $11,141. The cryptocurrency seems to be steadily rising.

Nevertheless, attitudes towards cryptocurrencies remains diverse.

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Author; Darius McQuaid
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