European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde says bitcoin has facilitated “funny business” and needs to be regulated at the international level.
In an interview at a Reuters online event Wednesday, Lagarde said the “highly speculative asset” has led to “some reprehensible activity,” including money laundering, and any loopholes need to be closed, according to a report from Reuters.
“There has to be regulation. This has to be applied and agreed upon … at a global level because if there is an escape that escape will be used,” she said.
The European Union central bank chief added there will be a digital euro, hopefully in no more than five years, according to other reports.
The ECB has been looking into the benefits and risks of a euro-based digital currency since the Facebook-backed diem (formerly libra) project was announced in June 2019.
UPDATE (12:40 UTC, Jan. 13 2021): Added further detail from Reuters report.