Cryptocurrencies are a “threat to the safety of our payment schemes,” Anne Boden, CEO of U.K. digital bank Starling, warned.
Speaking at the Money 20/20 fintech conference in Amsterdam on Tuesday, Boden said crypto “is very dangerous” as it poses a very huge risk to the existing payment infrastructure.
“A lot of [crypto] wallets are being connected directly to payment schemes,” Boden said. “This is a threat to the safety of our payment schemes around the world.”
However, major payment players are embracing cryptocurrencies — credit card giants Mastercard and Visa opened their networks to digital assets, for example, while PayPal also lets users trade bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
“Customers are being scammed,” the Starling chief continued this Tuesday. “We’re spending far more of our time protecting customers from the scammers than we are trying to promote crypto.”
She added that European banks need to implement far tougher know your customer (KYC), anti-money laundering (AML) and onboarding procedures to curb the growing trend.
Roughly $400 billion has been erased from the combined value of all cryptocurrencies in the past month, as investors were rattled by the collapse of terraUSD, a popular so-called stablecoin that was meant to always be worth $1.
In April, Starling saw its valuation double to over £2.5 billion ($3.15 billion) after raising £130.5 million ($164 million), earmarked for building on the expansion it experienced over the pandemic and facilitating more acquisitions.