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ECB to keep an eye on cryptocurrency as it predicts buy-in by banks

The president of the European Central Bank believes that European banks could jump on the bitcoin bandwagon following new developments like Bitcoin futures contracts listings by US exchanges.

In a speech at the European Parliament this week, Mario Draghi pointed out that there hadn’t been any noticeable trend of European banks holding cryptocurrencies,  or having plans to, in spite of the consumer interest we’ve seen in the past year.

“However, recent developments, such as the listing of Bitcoin futures contracts by US exchanges, could lead European banks too to hold positions in Bitcoin, and therefore we will certainly look at that,” stated Draghi.

Read more: Unisys wins IT support desk and data centre ECB contract

Draghi also highlighted the fact that these cryptocurrencies are still unregulated and are very risky assets. The world’s largest derivatives exchange, the CME Group, recently listed bitcoin futures contracts following CBOE’s own listing just a week before.

The EU central banking head also hinted at an upcoming uniform oversight via a ‘Single Supervisory Mechanism’ to oversee digital assets’ risks toward supervised institutions, or banks.

The ECB does not have the authority to regulate bitcoin, but Draghi’s remarks point towards a more supervisory approach on the topic.

Last November, Draghi said that the impact of the cryptocurrency sector was limited, and that there were not any risks for central banks for now.

Related: Deutsche Bank execs weigh in on cryptocurrency investment, and they’re not fans

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