Joseph Eugene Stiglitz, an American economist and public policy analyst, has called on global regulators to ban cryptocurrencies for their role in destroying the existing financial system. 

According to a report today by Korean news outlet The Korean Herald, Stiglitz made the comment at the 2021 Seoul International Finance Conference hosted in South Korea.  

Stilglitz expressed concern that the rapid growth of cryptocurrencies has undermined the transparency of the global financial system, given the anonymous and pseudonymous nature of digital currencies. 

He added that malefactors take advantage of the anonymous payment feature cryptocurrencies offer to conduct various illicit activities, which has continued to mar the growth of a functioning society. 

Based on these concerns, Stiglitz has urged global regulators to completely ban cryptocurrencies. 

“I’m of the view that now is the time for regulators all over the world to basically shut down cryptocurrencies,” the American economist suggested. 

Despite being a strong advocate of electronic payment, Stiglitz has never been a fan of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general. 

Since cryptocurrencies gained global attention in 2017, which led to the widespread retail adoption of the asset class, Stiglitz, who is a Nobel Prize-winning economist, has publicly criticized cryptocurrencies on different occasions, saying the payment method is mainly used to facilitate illicit transactions. 

On one of the occasions, Stiglitz stated that there is no need for people to use cryptocurrencies because there is a “better medium of exchange called the dollar.” 

“We can trade in that. Why do people want bitcoin? For secrecy,” the 2001 Nobel Prize-winning economist said. 

He argued that people want to keep their illicit activities such as tax evasion and money laundering from the watchful eyes of regulators, which is why they are adopting cryptocurrencies.

Interestingly, while Stiglitz has remained a Bitcoin pessimist, global regulators are gradually shifting their stance about the payment method, as they seek better ways to regulate the asset class to become beneficiaries of its opportunities. 

More so, in recent times, in a bid to retain customer loyalty, banks, including America’s oldest bank BNY Mellon, has joined the crypto bandwagon to offer crypto-related services to their users.

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