ECB chief Christine Lagarde says cryptocurrencies are 'worth nothing' and believes they should be regulated to protect people

ECB chief Christine Lagarde says cryptocurrencies are 'worth nothing' and believes they should be regulated to protect people
European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde.Photo by Philipp von Ditfurth/picture alliance via Getty Images
  • ECB president Christine Lagarde heavily criticized cryptocurrencies in a Dutch student-led interview.
  • Lagarde said digital tokens were "worth nothing" and "based on nothing."

European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde on Saturday criticized cryptocurrencies, saying they are "worth nothing," and should be regulated to protect people from depleting their life savings.

In a Dutch student-led interview program, Lagarde said: "What I'm really concerned about when it comes to crypto assets is that those investments be made by people who have their eyes wide open about the fact that they can lose it all."

Those people, she said, have "no understanding of the risks, who will lose it all, and who will be terribly disappointed, which is why I believe that that should be regulated."

Saturday's comments come after an intense sell-off across the crypto markets that started in early May, that brought with it the collapse of a major stablecoin and hefty losses in major tokens including bitcoin, ether, cardano, solana, and dogecoin.

At the height of the sell-off, ether lost nearly 20% in the space of one day, while bitcoin plummeted below $25,500 for the first time since December 2020.


"My very humble assessment is that it is worth nothing, it is based on nothing, there is no underlying asset to act as an anchor of safety," Lagarde said, per Bloomberg.

Lagarde has expressed her reservations over cryptocurrencies in the past, calling for more regulation on bitcoin, the most widely traded digital coin. Last year, she said she didn't consider bitcoin to be a real currency, adding that central banks won't be holding it in their reserves anytime soon.

"It's very unlikely — I would say it's out of the question," Lagarde said. She added the token has been used for some "funny business," including money laundering.

This month's crypto crash has sparked conversation among some the industry's leading figures about the need for tighter regulation. Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire, for example, said in an interview with Yahoo Finance that the implosion of stablecoin TerraUSD has given lawmakers an incentive to speed up regulation of the crypto market.