ECB Adds Bitcoin and Blockchain to Upcoming Youth Dialogue

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The banking industry hasn’t exactly greeted Bitcoin with open arms over the years. In fact, there have been times where it has seemingly gone out of its way to push against the growing crypto-market. However, it appears that one big banking institution is softening its stance towards Bitcoin, with President of the European Central Bank Mario Draghi including it as a topic of discussion during an upcoming Youth Dialogue event.

Bitcoin under the microscope

Set for February 12th, during the popular Q&A event Draghi will be answering pre-selected questions on the subject, specifically addressing whether or not Bitcoin presents a true alternative to traditional currencies. On top of that, he will also be further addressing the ECB’s stance on Blockchain technology. The questions were originally open to submission, with the closing date now passed, these questions are being vetted and prepped for the upcoming event.

A new youth policy

The Youth Dialogue is open to Europeans aged between 16 and 35, with the submitted questions centered around cryptocurrency, Blockchain, and concerns over a potential new global economic crisis. It appears that youth unemployment and Europe’s economic recovery will also be topics on the table. The event will be made up of talks from the ECB’s leading policy makes, with questions coming from students of varying nationalities and backgrounds.
The ECB appears to be adopting a new youth approach moving forward, something that the third Youth Dialogue event confirms. But, it’s not only the event itself that shows that the ECB’s approach to younger audiences is changing, as the central bank is also embracing social media. Triggering Bitcoin as a talking point, the ECB launched a Twitter opinion poll asking if the crypto market could offer a viable alternative to traditional currencies. The poll received a staggering 15,500 responses in just 24 hours, which propelled the subject of an open Bitcoin discussion into the spotlight.

Addressing potential doubts

The reason behind the banking industry’s hesitancy towards Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is largely because many remain unsure of where it “fits”. The nature of decentralized digital currency has the power to freeze-out many central banks, while still having the power to potentially ensure economic stability. Bitcoin’s volatility has also created doubt within banking circles, with the likes of Lloyd Blankfein, the chief executive of the US investment bank Goldman Sachs, making somewhat unfounded links to fraudulent use.
2017 was a pivotal year for Bitcoin, largely as its value skyrocketed, outstripping the projections of many leading crypto-analysts. Hitting a $20,000 all-time high, Bitcoin was also able to breach the mainstream with it generating mass media interest on a global scale. That being said, while its value as an investment commodity has shown extreme growth, current statistical data shows that Bitcoin’s position as a payment method – outside of the online casino industry – is minimal.

More than just a Q&A session

The third Youth Dialogue was all set to be a rather low-key affair, but it now carries extra meaning in the wake of the recent suspension of Bitcoin-backed Visa debit cards in Europe. This is on top of increased calls on a potential EU-wide regulation on cryptocurrencies, which has also raised plenty of questions.
Opening the door to further discussion amidst all of the Bitcoin-related data that’s dropping, the upcoming Youth Dialogue is going to present a refreshing conversation. At minimum, this event will bring up some interesting points, as the ECB’s stance on the crypto-market will become clearer.