The ECB president admitted that “there will be control” in regards to a digital euro, much to the displeasure of the crypto community.
A widely shared video of European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde admitting that a digital euro will be used in a “limited” way to control the payments that people can make was taken from a three-week-old prank video.
The video was highlighted by the breaking news account Watcher Guru on April 6 and generated a significant amount of social media chatter. In it, Lagarde cited a desire to not be reliant on an “unfriendly countries currency,” or a currency provided by a “private corporate entity like Facebook or like Google.” She said she is “personally convinced that we have to move ahead” with the digital euro.
Cointelegraph traced the original source of the video to a prank video from March 17 in which Lagarde appears to speak more candidly than normal, as she believed she was speaking to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The pranksters have had similar conversations with other public figures, including Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling and former United States President George W. Bush.
When “Zelensky” noted that “the problem is they [European protestors] don’t want to be controlled” by a central bank digital currency, Lagarde admitted that “there will be control, you’re right. You’re completely right,” but suggested it would be a “limited amount of control,” adding:
“We are considering whether for very small amounts, anything that is around 300, 400 euros, we could have a mechanism where there is zero control. But that could be dangerous.”
But Lagarde noted that terrorist attacks can, and have been, entirely financed by small, anonymous transactions.
Lagarde’s comments have been heavily criticized by the crypto community, particularly relating to her mention that a digital euro would allow for control over people and payments.
Some users saw the bright side, suggesting that by making it clear “where all this is going,” people will be pushed towards using decentralized currencies such as Bitcoin.
The ECB began a two-year investigation into a digital euro back in July 2021 and has been reporting on its progress.
The investigation is set to conclude on Sept. 29, and according to Lagarde, a decision about whether one will be launched will be made in October.