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Ireland’s Central Bank Says Digital Euro Not Matter of If, But ‘When and How’

The head of Ireland’s main monetary authority has likened the purchase of cryptocurrencies to collecting stamps, while praising the potential for a digital euro.

  • Central Bank of Ireland Governor Gabriel Makhlouf said that while the Eurozone has yet to decide on a central bank digital currency, the development is "very likely" to happen.

  • "In my view, it's not a question of if but rather how and when," the governor wrote in a bank blog post on Thursday.

  • Introducing a digital euro would represent a "fundamental shift" in the financial architecture of the Eurozone, Makhlouf noted.

  • The governor was less kind to cryptos, which he said were accompanied by an "unhelpful and misleading descriptor," as they fell out of the definitions of currency.

  • Some cryptos have no anchor to provide stability, wrote Makhlouf, but "on the other hand, on the evidence some people do like to collect them, just as some like to collect other things (such as stamps, for example). Buying such items can be profitable but it can also be loss-making."

  • Makhlouf also took aim at stablecoins, saying the pegged cryptos were only "as good as the governance behind the promise of the backing."

  • The governor, who took up his position in September 2019, is a British national. He was previously the New Zealand Treasury's secretary and chief executive, according to his LinkedIn page.

  • In March, Ireland's central bank warned companies operating in the republic would have to comply with anti-money laundering rules. It also warned against the risk of crypto to investors in May.

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