Cryptocurrencies no threat to the dollar: RBA | western lawyer

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A Reserve Bank official does not see that cryptocurrencies are a threat to the Australian dollar or how the central bank works. RBA chief payment officer Tony Richards has also questioned how widespread cryptocurrencies are held in Australia, but admits to having his own cryptocurrency wallet. He told an online conference on Thursday that although cryptocurrencies have caught the attention of many, they are not widely used in Australia. “I do not see them as a threat to the Australian dollar or to our monetary sovereignty or to the ability of the Reserve Bank to conduct monetary policy,” he said. Richards to the Australian Corporate Treasury Association. “I do not see stores publishing their prices in cryptocurrencies, or companies making their annual reports in cryptocurrencies, or many people wanting to be paid in cryptocurrencies.” However, he said there is a wide range of investors – from households to hedge funds – who believe that there is a significant role for cryptocurrencies. “At the same time … much of the global public sector remains skeptical about developments in the cryptocurrency market,” said Dr. Richards. He said the recent boom in cryptocurrencies is best illustrated by the fact that Dogecoin – “a cryptocurrency that was started as a joke in late 2013” – had an implied market value as high as $ 88 billion in June this year . It has since fallen back to around $ 31 billion, but it still ranks as the eighth largest cryptocurrency by market value. “While cryptocurrencies have clearly caught the attention of many, no doubt driven by influencers and celebrity tweets, it is unclear how widespread they are,” said Dr. Richards. He said some studies claim that around 20 per cent of the Australian population have cryptocurrencies, while one claimed that Dogecoin alone held five per cent of the nation. However, he found such results unlikely as online surveys miss important sections of the population, especially older people, those living in regional areas, and those who do not have regular access to the Internet. But after questioning how widespread cryptocurrencies are held, Dr. admitted Richards – who is retiring from the RBA by the end of the year – that he has had a cryptocurrency wallet since June 2014. “After all, part of my job is to try to understand new payment instruments and technologies,” he said. He believes there are plausible scenarios where a number of factors can come together to significantly challenge the current glow of cryptocurrencies. This includes households that are less affected by fashion phenomena and instead pay more attention to the regulator’s warnings about the risks of investing in something with “no issuer, no backing and very uncertain value”. He noted that the “mining” of cryptocurrencies has a very high energy consumption and could attract more attention from governments and policy makers. There could also be a greater focus on their potential use to facilitate economic crime and the black economy. He assured the conference that working on future payments will be a high priority for RBA in the years to come as part of its responsibility to ensure that there are safe forms of money that the public can trust. Australian Associated Press


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