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Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple price surge as cryptocurrency ban dismissed by European Central Bank

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Bitcoin price surges as European Central Bank rules out cryptocurrency ban
Things are up looking up for Bitcoin investors (Picture: AFP/ Getty)

The price of Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies is on the climb today after the European Central Bank dismissed fears of an imminent ban.

Last month, the slide of Bitcoin became so severe that the mini-crash was described as a ‘bloodbath’ and a ‘horror show’, before eventually being dubbed the ‘cryptopocalypse‘.

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But since then, the price of most major virtual currencies has been climbing, although all crypto-markets remain highly volatile and prone to dramatic wobbles.

The price of one Bitcoin is sitting at about $8,800 (£6,340) this morning, which is an increase of about $400 from its lowest point yesterday.

Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank (ECB), said it was not his organisation’s job to regulate Bitcoin.

Bitcoin price surges as European Central Bank rules out cryptocurrency ban
The price of Bitcoin has been on the up for the past 24 hours (Chart: Coinbase)

He also warned the public about the risks associated with the volatile cryptocurrency, which is prone to dramatic surges and crashes.

Governments are showing a growing appetite for new rules to regulate the crypto-markets, which have seen wild price swings and a series of heists as well as a rapid proliferation in the number of coins on offer.

But in a video response to questions from the public, Draghi said banning or regulating digital dosh was not one of the ECB’s tasks.

‘Many of you posted questions about whether the ECB is going to ban Bitcoins or it’s going to regulate Bitcoins,” Draghi said. ‘I have to say it’s not the ECB’s responsibility to do that.’

The head of the Bank for International Settlements, Agustin Carstens, called last week for central banks to end what he described as the ‘Ponzi scheme’ of cryptocurrencies, by restricting their access to banks and financial infrastructure.

The world’s largest central bank chiefs are expected to discuss the matter at a G20 meeting in Buenos Aires in March.

Answering a question from a member of the public about whether he should buy Bitcoin, Draghi struck a cautious tone.

‘Frankly I would think (about) it carefully,’ he said.

Draghi pointed out that the value of Bitcoin had oscillated much more wildly than that of the euro and that cryptocurrencies were not backed by any public institution.

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He added blockchain, the distributed ledger technology used to record Bitcoin transactions, was ‘quite promising’ and expected it to bring ‘many benefits’, citing its possible use to settle payments.
He cautioned, however, it was not yet safe enough for use by central banks.

‘We’re very interested in this technology but it’s still not secure for central banking and therefore we need to look through it and investigate it more,’ he said.

Last week, the price of Bitcoin boomed after a US Senate cryptocurrency hearing discussed the possible introduction of new laws to combat the volatility of cryptocurrency and stop digital currencies from being used by scammers and terrorists.

MORE: Cryptocurrency crash will burst Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple price bubbles to leave investors at risk of losing everything, European Union warns





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