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New Zealand Central Bank Governor Criticizes Stablecoins as "The Biggest Misnomers"

New Zealand's central bank governor Adrian Orr criticizes stablecoins as unreliable substitutes for fiat currency, labeling them as "the biggest misnomers" and emphasizing the need for transparency and regulatory scrutiny.

Adrian Orr, the governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ), has expressed strong criticism of stablecoins, labeling them as "the biggest misnomers" and "oxymorons." During a parliamentary finance committee meeting on Feb. 12, Orr dismissed stablecoins as unreliable substitutes for fiat currency, asserting that they are not truly stable.

Stablecoins Under Scrutiny

In response to a question regarding the RBNZ's stance on decentralized digital currencies and stablecoins, Orr conveyed the central bank's significant concerns. He emphasized that stablecoins, despite their name, lack stability and are not a viable alternative to traditional fiat money.

Bitcoin's Role Questioned

Orr also questioned Bitcoin's suitability as a medium of exchange, store of value, or unit of account, arguing that it falls short on all these fronts. He highlighted the discrepancy between Bitcoin's intended functions and its actual utility in practice.

Transparency and Regulatory Push

Asserting the need for transparency, Orr underscored the speculative nature of cryptocurrencies and emphasized that they do not serve as legitimate currencies or central bank-backed assets. He cited the regulatory efforts of jurisdictions like the United Kingdom, which are taking decisive action on stablecoin regulation.

New Zealand's Regulatory Approach

While New Zealand has been cautious about hasty crypto regulation, Orr's remarks signal a growing scrutiny of stablecoins and other digital assets. The country is exploring the potential for a central bank digital currency (CBDC) and weighing the costs and benefits of different design options.


Adrian Orr's criticism underscores the challenges and uncertainties surrounding stablecoins and cryptocurrencies in the eyes of regulators. As regulatory scrutiny intensifies globally, the debate over the role of stablecoins and their regulation is likely to continue, shaping the future landscape of the digital asset industry.