Agustín Carstens, the General Manager of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has once again made headlines following controversial statements relating to cryptocurrencies. More specifically, Carstens has stated that he is ”concerned” by the pace of technological progress, and urges cryptocurrency enthusiasts to ”stop trying to create money”.
This is not the first time that Agustín Carstens has spoken out against the notion of cryptocurrencies. Then again, this should not really come as a surprise, seeing as Carstens heads the BIS, widely regarded as the ”central bank of central banks”.
Moreover, Toshi Times has previously covered a recent report in which the BIS bashed cryptocurrencies, arguing that they suffer from ”a range of shortcomings”. In addition to this, Carstens has previously said that Bitcoin is ”a bubble, a Ponzi scheme, and an environmental disaster”.
Interestingly, Carstens repeated this statement word for word in a recent interview with the Swiss newspaper Basler Zeitung. He also went on to say that he is ”concerned by the pace of technological progress”, and stated that innovation needs to be used to ”contain the damage it causes”.
Carstens then segued into talking directly on the matter of cryptocurrencies, stating that ”they are not money”, and more so that they ”cannot assume the functions of money”. Although most cryptocurrency enthusiasts would disagree solely with this, Carstens had more to said.
More specifically, he then went on to compare cryptocurrencies to the practice of alchemy and likened the vision of decentralized currency to the century-old dream of turning common elements into gold.
As a part of this, he described how ”even Isaac Newton” had failed at creating gold, and that young people of today should take note of this. It would seem Carstens had little patience for a debate on the issue, as he concluded by remarking ”So, my message to young people is this: Stop trying to create money!”.
Carstens further explained that he believed that young people should instead use their ”many talents and skills” for other uses than reinventing money. ”It is a fallacy to think money can be created from nothing”, he announced.
Cryptocurrency aficionados are most likely going to have a field day criticizing Carstens remarks, which seem to have been purposefully chosen to make headlines. However, Carstens also tried to point to the issue of central banks to lend some credence to his stance on the issue.
He noted that central banks are ”trusted”, and that there is no realistic substitute for these at the time being. Whilst most would agree that central banks have an unrivaled position in today’s society, others would oppose the idea that they are trusted.
The widespread distrust and dissatisfaction with traditional central banks have been one of the key drivers for the adoption of decentralized currency, as these – unlike central banks – cannot be influenced by set policies or agendas.
It remains to be seen whether Carstens’ comments will indeed become accurate, and that cryptocurrency will be compared to alchemy in the future, although it can safely be assumed that these statements are unlikely to receive much support from the cryptocurrency community.
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Rasmus Pihl is a writer for Toshi Times by day and an avid follower of the blockchain industry by night. Rasmus holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from the Gothenburg School of Business, Economics, and Law and runs a Swedish marketing consulting firm. Moreover, when he isn’t writing for Toshi Times, traveling, working or changing the world in some other capacity, Rasmus is more than likely caught up in postgraduate studies.