Bank of Canada Governor Poloz
Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz spoke to CNBC about cryptocurrencies today and he's clearly not a fan, even of the nomenclature.
"I'm not really sure what they are, they're not assets. I suppose they're securities, technically," he said. "There's not really an intrinsic value that you can analyze so they're not assets."
He warned people to stay away from them.
"Buyers should beware, it's much closer to gambling than investing," he said.
At the same time, he said that if Canadians wanted a digital currency, the central bank could do it.
"No one is in a rush. It's more a question of 'when would it be needed' because right now, cash is still doing its job as it always has," he said.
On the larger technologies, he said distributed ledgers were "a true piece of genius" and something that's "truly huge" but it's not something that will be part of a central bank currency. It has applications in other areas.
He was asked about a potential crash and said the central bank isn't particularly worried about the broader economy but wants to protect consumers.
"One parallel we could draw would be the tech wreck. When we had the tech wreck, that was a much more widespread exposure. And the fact it had barely had perceptible effect on the real economy because it was not a stock market crash but just a segment of the stock market. But it was highly speculative, there was all kinds of bubbles there," Poloz said.
"So I think if you take that experience to heart, if something like that were to happen in the cryptocurrency space, it would probably be smaller today ... It certainly has the potential. I don't want to minimize the risk that you raised because any mania has the scope to get much bigger."
He said regulations will eventually come.
"We will be developing regulations around this space in due course. But what we are being careful to do here is to not stifle innovation," Poloz said.