Huw van Steenis, a senior adviser to Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, is of the view that cryptocurrencies fail fundamental tests of financial services. He made this statement during an interview with Bloomberg Television from Davos Monday.
Van Steenis has been in the financial sector for decades now, having previously worked at Schroders and Morgan Stanley. He joined the Bank of England last year and is currently in charge or a review of the future of finance.
During his interview, he stated that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are not high on his list of priorities at the moment. He stated that “I’m not so worried about cryptocurrencies. They fail the basic tests of financial services. They’re not a great unit of exchange, they don’t hold value, and they’re slower.”
He pointed out that one of the biggest challenges facing the BOE at the moment is how to regulate new entrants to the banking system, especially fintech firms. He stated that “What I love when meeting with Fintechs is their obsession with customers. The challenge is will they get customers before the traditional banks can innovate.”
The BOE last year warned its citizens that at bitcoin faces a regulatory crackdown. The bank stated that cryptocurrencies are failing to fulfill their most basic function as money. Mark Carney in March last year noted that the time had come to “regulate elements of the crypto-asset ecosystem to combat illicit activities.”
However, the BOE has yet to put in place adequate regulations for the cryptocurrency sector in the country. The government continues to explore ways to use cryptocurrency technologies at the core of the British payments system.
The cryptocurrency market has been in a bear cycle for a year now, with the price of Bitcoin and other altcoins trading way below their all-time highs.