Former US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen: Bitcoin is Not a “Useful Store of Value Currency”


Janet Yellen, who formerly was a chair for the US Federal Reserve, was interviewed at the 2018 Canada FinTech Forum on Monday. Her comments made local and worldwide news for the cryptocurrency industry as she criticized Bitcoin for its lack of value. The original report on her interview came from Canadian financial news outlet Kitco.

Yellen was recently the subject of some Bitcoin popularity during a House Financial Services Committee in July when her screen time was interrupted by a Bitcoin fan, holding up a sign that said, “Buy Bitcoin.” However, it is clear that she does not share the same sentiment as she criticized the coin greatly during her interview.

She said,

“It has long been thought that for something to be a useful currency, it needs to be a stable source of value, and bitcoin is anything but.” She added, “It’s not used for a lot of transactions, it’s not a stable source of value, and it’s not an efficient means of processing payments. It’s very slow in handling payments. It has difficulty because of its very decentralized nature.”

After attending the speech, CEO Frances Pouliot of Satoshi Portal was one of the first participants to quickly criticize Yellen’s statement. Taking to Twitter, Pouliot said,

“Janet Yellen just delivered a 5-minute rant against Bitcoin to Montreal financial industry VIPs. She went through all of Nouriel's talking points. The Official NPC guidelines to Bitcoin FUD, courtesy of the FED. Full video coming tonight. Buy Bitcoin. Audit the Fed.”

Last year, Yellen had spoken about Bitcoin as well, showing that her stance has yet to change through the years. At the time, she called Bitcoin a “highly speculative asset,” and she said that it is “not a stable source of value.” As far as the regulatory power held by the US Federal Reserve at the time, she stated,

“The Fed doesn't really play any regulatory role with respect to Bitcoin, other than assuring that banking organizations that we do supervise are attentive, that they are appropriately managing any interactions they have with participants in that market, and appropriately monitoring anti-money laundering, bank secrecy act responsibilities that they have.”

Yellen is not alone. Economist Nouriel Roubini made his own comments this month about cryptocurrency. He has shared that he believes that the whole market will ultimately fail, though his success rate with his predictions has not been high. Still, many cryptocurrency enthusiasts believe that he does not have enough understanding of the decentralized cryptocurrency market to make these types of conclusion.

When appearing at BlockShow Americas in August, he spoke with CoinTelegraph and said,

“I can see a bubble when there is one – and to me, this entire space has been the mother and the father of all financial bubbles and now it’s [going to] burst.”

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