Half a Million Dutch Households Own Crypto but Central Bank Still Wary

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Half a Million Dutch Households Own Crypto but Central Bank Still Wary

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A Dutch Central Bank spokesperson still maintains that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are too volatile for savings and their value can only be expressed in fiat terms.

In a recent CB publication on fintech, bank divisional director Petra Hielkema expressed these sentiments, also adding that there are still risks associated with buying cryptocurrencies in her view. Despite these concerns, the Dutch Central Bank has no plans to impose a cryptocurrency ban.

“If something wants to be treated as money, you have to be able to spend, save and calculate with it… However, things are not often bought with cryptocurrencies, it is too volatile for savings and its value is expressed in real money”, she said.

Clearly, such views are not shared by those that do save, spend and calculate with currencies such as Bitcoin on a daily basis. In Holland, the current figure is estimated to be about half a million households where a form of cryptocurrency is invested in or used.

She continued, clearly following the trend by banks to separate cryptocurrency from the technology behind it:

“So we do not consider it to be money as such… Nevertheless, the central bank does consider the technology behind bitcoins – blockchain – to be extremely interesting. We have been experimenting with the technology for the past three years and have developed four prototypes.”

Dutch finance minister Wopke Hoekstra wants to see European intervention in order to combat risk such as a ban on risky financial products and limiting the use of credit cards so that cryptocurrency can’t be purchased with them.

In contrast, the Dutch government’s CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (CPB) has released a report claiming that cryptocurrencies present a low risk to financial stability in the country. The report, published on 29 May, was initiated in order to establish if cryptocurrencies posed any kind of economic risk in the light of its increasing use and popularity in Holland.

Because Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies reached the news often in 2017, approximately 60% of the households in the Netherlands who invest in cryptocurrencies started doing so in 2017. In the first three quarters of 2017, there were approximately 44,000 transactions in Bitcoin from the Netherlands on a trading platform called BTC Direct, according to Statistica.

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