Cryptocurrencies not ‘real money’, says Dutch Central Bank

August 03, 2018
Chris Wheal

The Dutch central bank does not regard cryptocurrencies as real money and believes consumers run major risks in buying them, but has no plans to impose a ban on bitcoin and its peers.

Dnb divisional director Petra Hielkema

Dnb divisional director Petra Hielkema

In a report on fintech issued by De Nederlandsche Bank (Dnb) divisional director Petra Hielkema comments: ‘If something wants to be treated as money, you have to be able to spend, save and calculate with it.

“However, things are not often bought with cryptocurrencies, it is too volatile for savings and its value is expressed in real money. So we do not consider it to be money as such.”

Blockchain has potential

While spectical towards bitcoin, Dnb considers blockchain technology to be extremely interesting. “We have been experimenting with the technology for the past three years and have developed four prototypes,” says Hielkema.

“The experiments have shown that the systems cannot yet be incorporated into the Dutch payment system but there are possibilities for in the future, with more innovation,” she added.

Research shows that around half a million Dutch households own cryptocurrencies and Dutch finance minister Wopke Hoekstra has called for a consistent European and international approach to combat the risks associated with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Among the measures Hoekstra is considering are a ban on targeting ordinary consumers with advertising for risky financial products. He also wants to discuss with credit card companies the possibility of warning consumers of the financial risks of buying cryptocurrencies on credit.

 

Post written by Chris Wheal
Chris Wheal is editor of OpenLedger's news and features service. An award-wining business journalists himself, he runs a team of freelance journalists from across the UK and north America.

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