EBA Opinion on Virtual Currencies
On 4 July 2014 the European Banking Authority (EBA) published an opinion on virtual currencies, including Bitcoin, which can be found at the following link.
European national supervisory authorities contributed to the production of the opinion and the Central Bank is involved in the EBA work in this area. The opinion describes the many risks that virtual currencies present to consumers, other market participants and to financial integrity. The EBA recommends that national supervisory authorities discourage credit institutions, payment institutions and e-money institutions from buying, holding or selling virtual currencies.
Consumers should note that virtual currencies remain unregulated, thus there remains no regulatory protections for consumers when holding, buying or selling virtual currencies.
Note: The Central Bank also republished a warning from the EBA issued on 13 December 2013, warning consumers of the possible risks when dealing with virtual currencies including Bitcoin.