ECB Member Isabel Schnabel: Bitcoin Is ‘Speculative,’ ‘Unlikely’ to Be Purchased by the Bank

ECB Member Isabel Schnabel: Bitcoin Is ‘Speculative,’ ‘Unlikely’ to Be Purchased by the Bank

Isabel Schnabel, member of the European Central Bank (ECB) executive board, has blasted bitcoin’s characteristics, stressing that it is a speculative asset unlike central bank digital currencies (CBDC) like the proposed digital euro. Schnabel stressed it was ‘unlikely’ that the ECB would ever start buying bitcoin as part of its balance sheet.

ECB’s Schnabel: ‘The ECB Is Very Unlikely to Ever Buy Bitcoin’

Isabel Schnabel, executive board member of the European Central Bank (ECB), blasted bitcoin’s properties, stating that it lacked the functions of money. In a recent Q&A session where X users could send questions, Schnabel presented central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) as a solid alternative to digital private money, criticizing bitcoin as an unreliable asset.

When asked if she believed bitcoin was better than the digital euro, the European Union’s CBDC currency, Schnabel answered:

The digital euro is public money issued directly by the European Central Bank. Bitcoin is different – it is a speculative asset that does not fulfill the characteristics of money.

Schnabel stressed that the advantages that the digital euro would bring over today’s digital fiat currencies had to do with the possibility of converting private money to public money. Schnabel stressed that a digital euro, promoted as the digital alternative for cash and not its substitute, would strengthen trust in the European currency.

Also, when asked about the possibility of buying bitcoin as part of the balance sheet of the ECB, Schnabel stated that this was very unlikely to happen, but she did not reject it outright.

The ECB is gearing toward the decision to greenlight or suspend the digital euro project, having destined a significant part of its tenders budget to the research and development of this digital currency, focusing on solving offline payments issues. However, there is still no definitive answer on its issuance, as the project entered its “preparation phase” in October, which involves selecting probable partners that would accompany the ECB in developing the digital euro platform.

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