There is (almost) nothing I love more in the world than a deadpan, matter-of-fact take on Bitcoin delivered by a central banker.
The reason it’s so entertaining when the monetary gods weigh in on cryptocurrencies is precisely because these are the people who, to let the crypto crowd tell it, are super-concerned about the purported “threat” to their monopoly on money.
Of course central bankers aren’t any more “concerned” about cryptocurrencies “challenging” their control over money than Jamie Dimon is “concerned” that Bitcoin somehow imperils his job and the future of JPMorgan.
Everyone with any goddamn sense knows Bitcoin and the rest of these things are worthless and everyone with any sense also knows that central banks and governments can shut the whole thing down virtually overnight by subjecting the exchanges to strict regulation and/or making convertibility into dollars, euros and yen a crime.
If you’re wondering why that hasn’t happened yet, it’s not because governments don’t know they can do it. Rather, it’s because they’re worried about what the short-term fallout from that might be for all of the people who have been duped into “investing” in these things and also because they’re watching to see how it plays out, probably in an effort to learn something about how to incorporate the technology and the basic premise into an government-issued variant or, to use the BIS’s preferred nomenclature, a “CBCC”.
Well speaking of central banks, Bitcoin and also “CBCCs”, you might recall that late last year, “rumors” were (again) circulating that the BoE was working to devise their own cryptocurrency. They played down that speculation quickly, but the fact that the possibility was even bandied about in the first place makes the following even more amusing than it already would be. Here’s Reuters from a piece out on Monday afternoon:
Bitcoin has failed as a currency measured by standard benchmarks, and is neither a store of value nor a useful way to buy things, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said on Monday.
“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,” Carney told students at London’s Regent’s University.
Tell us what you really think, Mark.
He also noted that Bitcoin’s “underlying technology may still prove useful as a way to verify financial transactions in a decentralised way.”
Right. The ubiquitous nod to the “underlying technology” which, as more than a few people are starting to suggest, may be utterly fucking useless too because after all, no one has figured out a real compelling use case for it after damn near a decade of trying.
Oh wait, I take that back.
I forgot about the burgeoning “flying urban tax market”…