Is Bitcoin's Future Doomed? European Central Bank Says Yes, Offers Stark Warning

BY Benzinga | ECONOMIC | 02/22/24 01:40 PM EST

In a striking declaration, the European Central Bank (ECB) on Thursday said Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) holds an intrinsic value of "zero."

This announcement follows the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) landmark decision to approve Bitcoin spot exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Cryptocurrency fans see this as a validation of Bitcoin's legitimacy and a sign of its future success.

What Happened: The ECB's latest commentary, articulated in a blog post, directly challenges the burgeoning confidence in Bitcoin's investment safety and seemingly unstoppable ascent.

The ECB blog post stated that a new cycle of Bitcoin is dire for society and highlighted the vast environmental harm and the unfair wealth redistribution.

The post further criticized the recent SEC approval, suggesting the approval might fuel these cycles by making Bitcoin seem legitimate to investors.

Read Also: Bitcoin Poised To Reach $500K Long-Term As 'Bullish Sentiment Is Great,' Says Michael Van De Poppe, But Warns 'Corrections Will Happen'

Why It Matters:  The ECB's critical examination of Bitcoin extends to its functionality and societal impact, questioning the cryptocurrency's viability as a global digital currency and its purported value as a financial asset.

"Bitcoin has failed to fulfill its original promise to become a global decentralized digital currency," the ECB officials argued, pointing out the inefficiencies, slow transaction times and high costs that plague Bitcoin transactions.

They also noted the cryptocurrency's lack of use outside of crime. They particularly stress its unsuitability as a sustainable investment. This is due to its lack of cash flow, productive use and social benefit.

  • "The fair value of Bitcoin is still zero," the central bank said and noted, "Bitcoin transactions are still inconvenient, slow and costly."
  • "The mining of Bitcoin...continues to pollute the environment on the same scale as entire countries," it further said.

What's Next: The ECB's blog post is a clarion call for heightened regulatory oversight and a more nuanced understanding of cryptocurrency's speculative nature.

It underscored the urgent need for legislative and regulatory frameworks that can address the multifaceted risks associated with Bitcoin and similar digital assets.

"The collateral damage will be massive," the ECB warned, advocating for a proactive approach to mitigate the potential societal and environmental fallout.

Price Action, The Current Landscape: Despite the ECB's stern warning, Bitcoin has shown remarkable resilience in the market.

Since late December 2022, the cryptocurrency has surged from under $17,000 to over $52,000. This surge was due to speculation and the SEC's regulatory nod.

However, the ECB cautioned this rally may be fleeting, emphasizing that "prices will eventually return to their fundamental values in the long run."

Read Next: Edward Snowden Calls Bitcoin 'The Most Significant' Monetary Advancement Since Coinage

Photo: Shutterstock

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