Will Christine Lagarde be the key to the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies?

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Updated: 08 July 2019
  • Lagarde was recently announced as ECB President Mario Draghi’s successor
  • She is a supporter of blockchain and cryptocurrencies
  • Experts believe that cryptocurrencies will soon go mainstream

Many crypto enthusiasts were happy to hear that International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde has been appointed as the next President of the European Central Bank (ECB). She is set to assume her new role on 1st November.

Crypto fans celebrated her appointment because she has been an outspoken supporter of blockchain and cryptocurrencies in her current role as IMF chief, urging global regulators to embrace the budding technology and create laws to govern their use.

However, because most governments have taken a cautious approach toward cryptocurrencies – with countries such as China attempting to completely ban the use of digital assets in their jurisdictions – many are wondering whether Lagarde is any different.

The above concerns are quite valid given that one of the major principles behind the blockchain and cryptocurrencies is to eliminate the power that traditional banks led by central bankers have over the creation and supply of money across the globe.

Therefore, at face value, cryptos and central bankers stand on opposite ends of the financial spectrum and serve very different purposes. This is the reason behind the apparent lack of trust exhibited by most central bankers toward cryptocurrencies and other digital assets.

Lagarde has publicly expressed her support for blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies in general, but many people believe that she does not support decentralised crypto networks because she has urged other central banks to issue their own cryptos.

Luckily for crypto enthusiasts, it is almost impossible to control and regulate the supply of most digital assets thanks to their decentralised nature, which is why the few governments that have tried to do so have failed terribly.

Currently, US regulators are leading other global regulators in rejecting various attempts by the crypto fraternity to get digital assets into mainstream markets, but all is not lost. There is progress in the right direction, albeit at a very slow pace.

Many blockchain experts believe that it is just a matter of time before cryptocurrencies go mainstream, as evidenced by the launch of major projects such as Facebook Inc.’s (NASDAQ:FB) Libra.

The appointment of Lagarde as ECB chief is likely to be good for cryptos given that, unlike other regulators such as the US Securities and Exchange Commission, she has publicly acknowledged that cryptocurrencies are reshaping the traditional finance industry.

Despite the positive sentiment within the crypto industry following Ms Lagarde’s appointment, the road ahead for cryptocurrencies is still full of challenges as many regulators remain keen on stopping their widespread use in their jurisdictions.

However, most veteran technology experts have pointed out the similarities between the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies and that of other major technologies, such as the adoption of the internet in the 1990s.

The experts are confident that cryptocurrencies will become a core feature of everyday life in the near future – just like the internet currently is – despite the major headwinds that are hindering the mainstream adoption of most digital assets.