Christine Lagarde, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), praised the advantages of cryptocurrencies by saying that crypto payments are “immediate, safe, cheap, and potentially semi-anonymous”. At the same time, she suggested that governments could set up their own cryptocurrencies.
“The advantage is clear. Your payment would be immediate, safe, cheap, and potentially semi-anonymous. And central banks would retain a sure footing in payments,” Lagarde said at a fintech conference in Singapore. Lagarde added, that “they would offer a more level playing field for competition, and a platform for innovation. Meanwhile, your bank or fellow entrepreneurs would have ensured a friendly user experience based on the latest technologies.”
Furthermore, the head of IMF stated that crypto can improve business conditions in remote locations.
“We know that banks are not exactly rushing to serve poor and rural populations,” Lagarde added.
.@Lagarde I believe we should consider the possibility to issue digital currency. With appropriate design, there may be a role for the state to actually supply money to the digital economy. Read her speech delivered @sgfintechfest #DigitalCurrency #CBDC https://t.co/Z6qoP09cMJ pic.twitter.com/afwQHZ6cNA
— IMF (@IMFNews) November 14, 2018
Moreover, the IMF has released a new paper on the pros and cons of central bank digital currency. The research shows that with appropriate design, Central bank digital currency could meet public policy goals, including financial inclusion, security and consumer protection; It could also provide what the private sector cannot: privacy in payments.
Meanwhile, in a recent opinion piece published on the Bulletin, a monthly publication of the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF), an independent think tank for central banking, economic policy and public investment, the IMF chief said that regulators and other participants of the financial market should be aware of the cryptocurrency-related dangers, also.
“[Regulators] must protect consumers and investors against fraud and combat tax evasion, money laundering and the financing of terrorism. They must also protect the integrity and stability of the financial system,” Lagarde said, stressing that the authorities “must beware of stifling innovation that benefits the public.”
Lagarde likes to emphasize the advantages of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. For example, in April, she was exploring some of the potential benefits of cryptocurrencies, stressing that “answers are already starting to take shape.”