A graphic of Bitcoin, at the 'Bitcoin Change' shop in Tel Aviv. Photo: Jack Guez / AFP / Getty Images

The head of the Bank for International Settlements, a Switzerland-based lender and think tank for central banks, is calling on central banks to intervene to prevent cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin from wreaking havoc on financial institutions globally, the WSJ reports. The official, Agustin Carstens, said Bitcoin is a “combination of a bubble, a Ponzi scheme and an environmental disaster.”

Why it matters: Carstens is not alone — central banks around the world are warning about risks surrounding cryptocurrencies, per the WSJ. This comes as the value of cryptocurrencies diminish worldwide and could indicate a looming crackdown against them.

The buzz:

  • “If authorities do not act pre-emptively, cryptocurrencies could become more interconnected with the main financial system and become a threat to financial stability,” Carstens said.
  • The President of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, said Monday that digital currencies are “very risky assets” and that the ECB is looking into those risks.
  • U.S. Federal Reserve Governor Randal Quarles said in November that cryptocurrencies could bring “more serious financial stability issues” if adopted widely.

Up next for U.S. regulation: The head of the CFTC, Christopher Giancarlo, and the chairman of the SEC, Jay Clayton, are testifying before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee on Tuesday. In prepared testimony, Clayton has identified cryptocurrency exchanges as a potential target for future regulation.

Go deeper: The dark side of cryptocurrencies: how rogue regimes are using them to evade sanctions

Go deeper

Updated 19 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 p.m. ET: 20,177,521 — Total deaths: 738,716 — Total recoveries: 12,400,156Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 p.m. ET: 5,130,784 — Total deaths: 164,603 — Total recoveries: 1,670,755 — Total tests: 62,513,174Map.
  3. States: Georgia reports 137 coronavirus deaths, setting new daily record Florida reports another daily record for deaths.
  4. Health care: Trump administration buys 100 million doses of Moderna's coronavirus vaccine.
  5. Business: Moderna reveals it may not hold patent rights for vaccine.
  6. Sports: Big Ten scraps fall football season.

Voters cast ballots in Minnesota, Georgia, Connecticut, Wisconsin and Vermont

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Primary elections are being held on Tuesday in Minnesota, Georgia, Connecticut, Vermont and Wisconsin.

The big picture: Georgia and Wisconsin both struggled to hold primaries during the coronavirus pandemic, but are doing so again — testing their voting systems ahead of the general election. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) is facing a strong challenger as she fights for her political career. In Georgia, a Republican primary runoff pits a QAnon supporter against a hardline conservative.

48 mins ago - Health

Trump administration buys 100 million doses of Moderna's vaccine

A volunteer in Moderna's vaccine clinical trial receives a shot. Photo: Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The U.S. government has agreed to buy 100 million doses of Moderna's experimental coronavirus vaccine for $1.5 billion, or $15 per dose.

Why it matters: The Trump administration, through Operation Warp Speed, has now bought initial batches of vaccines from Moderna, GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi, Pfizer, Novavax, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca before knowing whether they are safe and effective. The federal government also appears to own some of the patent rights associated with Moderna's vaccine.