BBVA Executive Claims Cryptocurrencies Are “Perfect” Despite Malicious Users

An executive chairman of multinational Spanish banking group Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) has stated that he believes cryptocurrencies are "perfect", despite often being used for malicious purposes by certain stakeholders.

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An executive chairman of multinational Spanish banking group Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) has stated that he believes cryptocurrencies are “perfect”, despite often being used for malicious purposes by certain stakeholders.

Cryptocurrencies are ‘perfect’

Francisco Gonzalez Rodriguez who currently serves as an executive chairman of BBVA told CNBC in an interview conducted on September 14 that cryptocurrencies are perfect.

Gonzalez told CNBC:

“Cryptocurrencies are perfect, but are used for bad purposes today, so [one has to be] careful. Blockchain and distributed ledger technologies are also perfect, they are big, big tools. But the cryptocurrencies must be understood, [especially] the corner where the malpractices are going.”

Gonzalez Rodriguez has been serving as the executive chairman of BBVA Banking Group, which is said to be the second largest bank in Spain, since 2001.

Gonzalez further stated that there are ripple effects in the operation of cryptocurrencies, and these must be understood for the development of the nascent industry.

According to Gonzalez, the world is going through an incredible phase of the digital revolution, and cryptocurrencies will eventually lead the way into a new world order.

Illicit use of cryptocurrencies

As cryptocurrencies gain popularity, illicit activities involving the use of digital assets all over the world is becoming a growing cause of concern.

While blockchain and cryptocurrencies are being leveraged by banking institutions and companies to revolutionize the traditional financial sector, there is a worrisome trend of their growing illicit use.

Research conducted in January of this year claimed that one out of every four Bitcoin users and approximately half of every Bitcoin transaction is associated with an illegal activity, and around $72 billion of illegal activity per year involves Bitcoin.

This research was conducted by Sean Foley of the University of Sydney, Jonathan R. Karlsen of the University of Technology Sydney, and Tālis J. Putniņš of the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga in January 2018.

In January, over 60 financial investigators from Interpol and Europol were present at a cryptocurrency conference to discuss effective methods of combating cryptocurrency crime.

The growing threat of cryptocurrencies has led to its ban in countries like China, Russia, Thailand, Vietnam, India, Colombia amongst others.

BBVA and cryptocurrencies

In April, BBVA loaned out a total of $87 million, becoming the first global bank to issue a loan using blockchain. Also, in July, the Spanish banking group signed off on a new blockchain-based loan worth around $117 million for a civil engineering firm known as ACS Group.

In course of his interview with CNBC, the executive chairman was asked about BBVA’s investments in blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Gonzales replied:

“When we buy fintechs, or [invest] a 10% or 100% stake, we are buying options. It can be billions, it can be nothing after all, we will see over time”.

In contrast to Gonzalez’s view of cryptocurrencies as perfect, Carlos Torres the CEO of BBVA CEO previously said that the blockchain technology was “not mature”, and it would have to scale some major challenges in the future.

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