ECB tells how to counter Bitcoin

The European Central Bank proposes to introduce instant payments to counter cryptocurrencies
01 December 2017   732

The way to defeat Bitcoin attractiveness

Yves Mersch, a member of the Executive Board the European Central Bank, said on Thursday that banks should accelerate the introduction of instant payments to counter the attraction of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

Banks need to implement instant payments as soon as possible and provide an alternative narrative to the ongoing public debate on the alleged innovation brought by virtual currency schemes.


Yves Mersch

Member of the Executive Board, the European Central Bank

The growing interest of central banks

Cryptocurrencies have gained relevance in the financial debate and some central banks such as Sweden’s Riksbank and the Bank of England intend to introduce their own digital currency.

According to Yves Mersch, the ECB is interested in experiment with cash on different digital technologies, but it does not see scope for implementation of such technology.

Bundesbank board member Carl-Ludwig Thiele agrees with Mersch opinion, saying that a digital currency such as Sweden eKrona could not be introduced in Germany, where cash payments are still prevalent.

Despite the progress of adoption, cryptocurrencies are still a source of worry for central bankers because they threaten their control of the banking system and money supply, which could undermine the monetary policies they use to manage inflation.

First real-life cryptocurrency robbery reported in Taiwan

Four men stole 5 million Taiwanese dollar worth of Bitcoin, the police has already arrested the suspects
22 February 2018   53

Bitcoin has attracted lots of unwanted attention from hackers and scammers alike. Recently not a week passes without news of an exchange or user being hacked or some company's computers being hijacked to mine cryptocurrency. And now Taiwanese news outlets report first real-life robbery of Bitcoin in their country.

The robbery took place in Taichung, Taiwan's central city. The police reports three men being involved in the robbery itself and one as a planner. Criminals persuaded the victim to meet with them face-to-face under the guise of being interested in buying Bitcoin from him. After the victim showed the robbers the proof of his bitcoins on his phone, the men attacked him and his friend and transferred 18 bitcoins worth 5 million Taiwanese dollar via the phone wallet.

The suspects then forced the unfortunate seller to drink strong local liquor to make everything look like a drunken fight had taken place. The police arrived at the scene after receiving the reports of a fight and found two victims. Two of the offenders had fled, but the third has been arrested at the scene of the crime. He later provided investigation with information about his accomplices. They were arrested soon after.

The police later apprehended the man believed to be the mastermind behind the plan. All this was released in the yesterday's report by the Taiwanese law enforcement and the case is already viewed as “the first domestic case of bitcoin robbery”. The report doesn't mention if the crypto was returned to the rightful owner.

Similar cases has been rumored to happen in the US, but no records are released as of yet. So the unofficial governmental advice is to be more cautious of the buyers requesting face to face meetings in the light of this event.