French banking major Societe Generale CEO Frederic Oudea says that the digital currencies like Bitcoin face an uncertain future because of their anonymity. He claims that the virtual currencies are unlikely to survive in the long term as governments around the world introduce steps to regulate them.
In a CNBC interview on the sidelines of the Web Summit conference held in Lisbon, Portugal in early November 2017, Oudea said that the main benefit of Bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies is its ability to provide anonymity to the individuals who are conducting the deals.
"The benefit so far is it provides anonymity to the people who are making the transactions. I can't see a future of this when I see the attention played by all governments and regulators on anti-money laundering, on anti-tax evasion, on anti-terrorism financing. The anonymity of the transaction is a problem I think which would put pressure on Bitcoin."
Another Blockchain endorsement
Despite his negative view on the virtual currencies, Oudea showed support to the technology behind them, the Blockchain or distributed ledger technology (DLT). Blockchain or DLT enables data to be stored in huge volumes across a secure network of computers.
"I'm more a believer of a distributed ledger technology where you have a defined set of players (that are) well-identified. We choose this mix of crypto technology to secure transactions."
Oudea’s suggestions for Bitcoin
Oudea has shown support to the proposal that the cryptocurrencies can be supported by fiat currencies. He, however, voiced out his concern that the virtual currencies are too risky for mainstream use.
"I think we need to be a bit more precise on what we call virtual currency at the end of the day. If it's just a way in a transaction, at some point to add something which virtually can translate on both sides into real currencies, maybe it can be used as a system. The Blockchain system and the Bitcoin system is very different."