Cryptocurrencies are a “threat” in the Russian context, according to Christine Lagarde

The volumes of rubles converted into cryptocurrencies have reached a particularly high level since the sanctions imposed by the West.

The president of the European Central Bank (ECB), Christine Lagarde, warned this Tuesday about the “threatWhat are the cryptocurrencies obtained in exchange for rubles in an attempt to circumvent the sanctions of Western countries against Russia.

Of all the digital asset classes, “crypto assets concern me more in the Russian contextthe central banker said at a Bank for International Settlements innovation forum. “It’s a threat? Yes“, he stated, after noting that the cryptocurrencies that escape the traditional banking system are “certainly used as a means to try to circumvent the sanctions that have been decided by many countries around the world against Russia and specific actors».

Russian individuals or companies”they are obviously trying to convert their rubles into crypto assets“, noted Christine Lagarde, noting that the volumes of rubles converted reached a particularly high level since the sanctions imposed by the West.

The inclusion of cryptocurrencies in the catalog of Western sanctions

Europe recently expanded its catalog of sanctions adopted after the start of the conflict in Ukraine to cryptocurrencies, in particular by excluding Russian banking establishments from the Swift international interbank system.
But cryptocurrencies, using blockchain technology (“block chain”), can be used outside the banking system by sanctioned persons to continue making transactions.

Before the armed conflict in Ukraine, Russia was already at the top of the world podium of use and creation (“mine») of cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin, the most famous cryptocurrency,it does not constitute (…) a store of value, but rather a speculative asset, somewhat akin to tulip bulbs in the Netherlands in the 17th century“, declared for his part the governor of the Banque de France, François Villeroy de Galhau, at the opening of the forum. Central bankers are used to criticism of cryptocurrencies due to their high volatility, their possible use for the benefit of criminal activities, and their general opacity.

The ECB is committed to the creation within 5 years of a digital euro as a secure and anonymous central bank currency for daily payments, alongside cash. For this complex project,we are on time and on budgetChristine Lagarde assured.

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