The price of bitcoin has moved higher after the president of the European Central Bank (ECB) said that it isn’t the job of his institution to regulate cryptocurrencies.
In Wednesday morning trade, the value of the notoriously volatile digital currency rose by $370, to reach $8,900(£6,417) according to CoinDesk.
The rally followed Mario Draghi’s response to a question on Tuesday in the latest of the ECB’s #AskDraghi video series.
“Many of you posted questions about whether the ECB is going to ban bitcoins or it’s going to regulate bitcoins,” said the bank’s president. “I have to say it’s not the ECB’s responsibility to do that.”
Bitcoin touched a record high of $19,850 in mid-December but has since fallen sharply as a series of high-profile thefts and fears of regulation pared its gains. Earlier this month it tested the $6,000 level.
South Korea recently barred individuals from trading bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies anonymously, but said it does not plan to ban digital currency exchanges.
Although he ruled out ECB regulation, Draghi commented in answer to a student’s question on whether he recommended buying bitcoin that he would think “carefully” before doing so and that he does not regard it as a currency. While the euro’s value is stable, “the value of a bitcoin oscillates wildly.”
“The euro is backed by the ECB,” he added. “The dollar is backed by the Federal Reserve. Currencies are backed by the central banks or their governments. Nobody backs bitcoin.”