Italy decides on crypto regulation – but it still doesn’t like Bitcoin and Ether

Italy just shared that it plans to adopt European Union’s Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (MiCA) regulations, but made it clear that it doesn’t think Bitcoin and Ethereum are worth the networks they’re operating on.

The central bank’s governor, Fabio Panetta, said at the Banking Association meeting yesterday, that:

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“Ethereum and Bitcoin have no intrinsic value and they do not generate income flows, coupons or dividends. They’re created using computing technology.”

Panetta opened his speech saying that he recognizes the importance of having guidelines for crypto in the country, so he is in the process of curating some rules that work with MiCA and that are best for Italians.

But in his understanding, there are two types of crypto. The stablecoins, and then the “unbacked.” Bitcoin and Ether fall into the unbacked category because unlike USDT, they’re not backed by anything solid. He did add, though, that:

“Without appropriate and incisive regulation, stablecoins too would be particularly vulnerable to redemption runs, should their holders lose faith in them.”

He pointed out that most of the industry is just people trying to take coins to the highest value possible and avoid taxations. He hinted at centralized exchanges being a part of the problem.

The way Panetta sees it, getting in BTC and Ether is like gambling, because the whole thing is based on speculation. There is no actual value to them, so they fluctuate sharply.

“Clearly, they do not possess the characteristics that make them suited to perform the three inherent functions of money: a means of payment, store of value and unit of account.”

Panetta said he wants to do his part in making sure crypto risks are really low for Italians. He believes that MiCA will really help bring some sort of order in the chaotic market, but admits that the impact might be limited thanks to crypto’s complex nature.

This is why financial intermediaries are needed. Under MiCA, their responsibility increases in that they need to pay even more attention to the financial and operational risks that come with crypto.

Panetta closed his speech, saying, “In the coming days, we will publish a communication to the market on this issue, aimed at facilitating an effective application of MiCAR, with a view to helping to preserve the smooth functioning of the markets and of the payment system and to protect the holders of these instruments.”

Reporting by Jai Hamid

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