Fabio Panetta, an executive board member of the European Central Bank (ECB), has suggested a dark future for cryptocurrencies, in which the digital assets may be used for little more than gambling among investors.

In written remarks for a panel at the Bank for International Settlements Annual Conference on June 23, Panetta said crypto’s perception among investors as a “robust store of value” began to dissipate in late 2021 and into 2022, when the total market capitalization fell by more than $1 trillion. According to the ECB official, the “highly volatile” nature of crypto assets made them suitable for gambling, and should be treated as such by global lawmakers.