‘Young people should stop trying to create money from nothing’

July 10, 2018
Richard Reed

Budding young cyber experts should stop trying to ‘create money from nothing’ with digital currencies, says one of the world’s leading bankers.

computer nerd

Agustín Carstens, head of the Bank of International Settlements – known as the ‘central bank for central banks’ – claims they should put their skills to better use.

In an interview with Swiss website Basler Zeitung, he said cryptocurrencies were “a bubble, a Ponzi scheme and an environmental disaster”.

He compared them to the historical search for ways to turn base metals into gold using alchemy.

“Glance back into the past and you will see that creating gold or money from nothing has been a regular obsession. It never worked.

“Even the great physicist Isaac Newton was at one point in his life obsessed by alchemy and the idea of making gold. He was very successful in a number of fields, but in this one he failed.”

He added: “Newton ended up as head of the British Mint. Why? Because he could detect at once if a coin was counterfeit. After he failed in his attempt to make gold, he switched sides and sent counterfeiters to prison. So my message to young people would be: Stop trying to create money!”

Carstens said central banks were trusted, and something that had been built up over decades. “Trust is a valuable commodity. It is easily destroyed, but winning it takes time. Money has become established,” he said.

“Young people should use their many talents and skills for innovation, not reinventing money. It’s a fallacy to think money can be created from nothing.”

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