ECB's Lagarde slams lack of regulation on Bitcoin
The head of the European Central Bank called for global regulators to close off the 'loopholes' allowing Bitcoin to be used for 'funny business' such as money laundering.
In remarks made at a Reuters Next conference, Christine Lagarde said: "(Bitcoin) is a highly speculative asset, which has conducted some funny business and some interesting and totally reprehensible money laundering activity."
Despite being extremely volatile, recent sharp gains in the price of the digital currency to record highs meant that an increasing number of ordinary investors were piling into it.
But Bitcoin's opacity also meant that it was prone to being used for transactions of an illegal nature, including to launder the proceeds of such activities.
"There has to be regulation. This has to be applied and agreed upon [...] at a global level because if there is an escape that escape will be used."