February 13, 2018 / 2:23 AM / 2 years ago

BOJ Kuroda says cryptocurrency won't threaten yen, largely speculative

Bank of Japan (BOJ) Governor Haruhiko Kuroda attends a lower house budget committee session at the parliament in Tokyo, Japan, February 13, 2018. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

TOKYO (Reuters) - Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said on Tuesday cryptocurrencies likely won’t threaten legal tenders like the yen any time soon as they are mostly used for speculative trading, rather than as payments and settlement means.

Kuroda also said the BOJ was closely watching developments in cryptocurrrency trading to ensure they do not erode public trust over the safety of existing settlement systems overseen by the central bank.

“Cryptocurrencies aren’t legal tenders and don’t have assets to back up their value,” Kuroda told parliament, adding that the prospect of them threatening the role of globally-trusted legal tenders such as the yen was low.

“Some people say they should be described as crypto-assets, not cryptocurrencies,” he said.

Kuroda’s comments came in the wake of recent calls from global policymakers for a coordinated approach to regulating cyptocurrencies like bitcoin, which has drawn attention due to its highly volatile moves and increasing trading volume.

Finance leaders from the Group of 20 major economies are expected to discuss the impact of cryptocurrencies at their meeting in Buenos Aires in March.

Reporting by Leika Kihara; Editing by Chris GallagherEditing by Shri Navaratnam

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