Category Archives: IMF

Auto Added by WPeMatico

Afghans Look to Sovereign Crypto Bond to Raise $5.8 Billion for Economy

Afghanistan is planning to jumpstart its ailing economy with a blockchain-based sovereign crypto bond. The announcement to attempt a cryptocurrency solution to three decades of economic turmoil came at a meeting of the Boards of Governors of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington recently.

According to the Central Bank of Afghanistan’s governor Khalil Sediq, the target figure is USD 5.8 billion in order to support the country’s critical mining, energy, and agriculture sectors, and with 25% of the country’s population currently unemployed and living under the poverty, critical measures are being assessed.

Afghanistan, as the of the world’s largest suppliers of lithium, could utilize Bitcoin with metals futures in bond form, according to the Afghan delegation, although IMF president Christine Lagarde believes such a bond will need thorough testing before it can be sold on markets.

Bitcoin has gained popularity in Afghanistan and its thought that cryptocurrency could find real leverage in the county if local money-sellers, called sarafis, were to start trading in digital currency. Afghans are generally untrusting of financial institutions and turn to sarafis, who deal with numerous fiat currencies across Afghanistan.

It appears that Afghanistan is not the only nation, considering some kind of a sovereign Bitcoin bond, as both Tunisia and Uzbekistan, both also represented by delegates at the Spring IMF and World bank forum, have also expressed interest in similar solutions.

Uzbek Ambassador to the United States Javlon Vakhabov sees an Uzbek bitcoin bond being linked to the country’s cotton futures market, much along the lines of Afghanistan’s plan for lithium futures. Uzbekistan has recently legalized crypto trading in the country and has announced some initial regulations for both trading and mining. The new decree, “On measures to organize the activities of crypto-exchanges in Uzbekistan”, states any company providing for the purchasing of or sale of crypto assets on a platform will be recognized as a legal exchange.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post Afghans Look to Sovereign Crypto Bond to Raise $5.8 Billion for Economy appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Could IMF’s “Learning Coin” Mean a Shift from Fear and Loathing to Acceptance?

Could IMF’s “Learning Coin” Mean A Shift From Fear and Loathing to Acceptance

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank’s recent announcement suggest that they are not quite going crypto, but are nonetheless launching a private blockchain complete with a coin. And this could have major implications for world finance.

Although the “Learning Coin” may be a new concept that the two financial giants have carefully designed to carry no monetary value, but with plenty of stored intellectual content, this could be seen as an indication that change is in the air when it comes to the financial establishment’s tolerance-come-actual-interest in cryptocurrency as 2020 approaches.

When these two agencies make a murmur, the financial establishment pricks up their ears. The intention seems clear when the IMF states that “the development of crypto-assets and distributed ledger technology is evolving rapidly, as is the amount of information (both neutral and vested) surrounding it”, without accompanying it with the usual criticism of abuse and misuse. That said, IMF chief Lagarde’s concerns are still clear. Her views indicate that it is very much about treading carefully and testing the water at this stage:

“…we don’t want innovation that would shake the system so much that we would lose the stability that is needed.”

Of course, the IMF is always ready to cast one keen protective eye across the global financial landscape, such as in the agency’s recent warnings to Malta regarding its rate of blockchain and cryptocurrency adoption, saying that unchecked proliferation carries “significant risks” for money laundering and terrorism. during a recent financial assessment carried out on the island.

Another hint that the financial establishment may be leading from the top in its softening attitudes towards cryptocurrency can be seen in its recent online poll, on its own website, asking the question asking “How do you think you will be paying for lunch in 5 years?”  — a clear attempt to measure public feelings on cryptocurrency.

This needs to be balanced with the IMF’s stance regarding state cryptocurrencies. To date, it has come down hard on countries considering the move. There is a critical view held by economists in some countries whose governments may be considering moves to adopt a national cryptocurrency, that a mass decentralization of financial power may result in the diminishing of IMF’s authority.

A warning by IMF deputy director Dong last year clearly suggests that the organization may be secretly worried at the movement towards global digital currency adoption. While admitting that cryptocurrency had an advantage over banks when it comes to speed, anonymity, and divisibility, Dong claimed then that Bitcoin’s fixed supply was a disadvantage since that would lead to deflation, which is theorized to reduce economic activity due to money hoarding. According to him, a stable monetary system must protect against deflation.

It remains to be seen how long the IMF can tread this middle path of warnings and dabblings, caught between fear and acceptance of what many in the crypto space see as the inevitable global adoption of cryptocurrency. What of its latest toe in the water; its so-called “hub for knowledge”? It could be just a possible novelty or distraction for the agencies’ Washington-based employees at first glance, but although the two giants watching over the world’s monetary control are not predicting a permanent place for blockchain anytime soon amongst the worlds banking system and even less for cryptocurrency, they are nonetheless peeking under the carpet; not quite fear and loathing, but apprehension with interest.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post Could IMF’s “Learning Coin” Mean a Shift from Fear and Loathing to Acceptance? appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

IMF, World Bank Launch Private Quasi-Crypto ”Learning Coin”

IMF, World Bank Launch Quasi-Crypto ''Learning Coin''

A joint private blockchain project from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank is being launched to help educate institutions and gain a better understanding of both blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

A quasi-cryptocurrency dubbed ”Learning Coin” will also be used during the project, although it is stressed that the token will have zero monetary value and will be inaccessible outside of the IMF and World Bank.

In a statement, the IMF noted that the rapidly evolving technologies in the cryptocurrency space had forced the institution to admit a ”growing knowledge gap.” The Learning Coin project is an effort to bridge that gap, for legislators and policymakers to gain a better understanding.

The project will offer knowledgable insights via a website, blog posts and videos, all looking to investigate the principles of distributed ledger technologies. Reaching educational milestones on the private platforms will earn the employees Learning Coin tokens as a reward; while they will not be able to exchange them for currency, it is suggested the developers will be able to exchange them for some form of reward.

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @BitcoinNewsCom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post IMF, World Bank Launch Private Quasi-Crypto ”Learning Coin” appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Malta Banks Deny Blockchain, Crypto Operators Custody Service

Malta Banks Deny Blockchain, Crypto Operators Custody Service

In the past year, the Island of Malta made a name for itself as it strived to become the go-to-hub for blockchain and cryptocurrency businesses. However, it now appears that startups are encountering problems with account opening in local banks, as banks say cryptocurrency businesses are outside their risk appetite.

Last week, Times of Malta was able to gather information from crypto-related businesses setting up shop in Malta, following the trends of moving from toxic jurisdictions to more a friendly one. According to the news outlet, the sources confirmed that banks were politely declining their businesses.

While risk appetite may have been one of the reasons provided by the banks, another possible one is that the banks may be waiting for more clarity from Malta’s Financial Service Authority (MFSA) before attending to cryptocurrency startups. More so, it seems the banks are having a hard time distinguishing between cryptocurrency and blockchain-related ventures, and are lumping them up as a sum.

According to the Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, upon investigating the problem further, he discovered:

“The general understanding is that when it comes to crypto operators, banks are waiting for operators to obtain an MFSA license before opening their doors – which is understandable.”

The MFSA had said earlier that all crypto ventures aiming to operate from the Island should obtain licenses, and while it had said the first licenses would be issued in the first quarter of this year, the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) interference with the process may have throttled the process, thereby creating a bureaucratic bottleneck.

The IMF expressed worry about the speed in which the blockchain industry in Malta had been developing and wanted more cautionary steps to be taken. In a report enumerating its risk assessment on the financial stability involving virtual-assets, it recommended immediate action on some critical gaps in Malta’s supervision for combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML). The report further urged gradual enforcement of the laws and regulations.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @BitcoinNewsCom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post Malta Banks Deny Blockchain, Crypto Operators Custody Service appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

HSBC Whistleblower Is Developing His Own Cryptocurrency

Hervé Falciani, the French-Italian whistleblower who helped track down tax evaders with 130,00 Swiss bank accounts in the 2008 Valencia Polytechnic University crash, is to launch a new cryptocurrency.

Falciani became renowned as the HSBC ex-employee turned whistleblower who provided several European countries classified information on thousands of Swiss bank clients who were evading taxes, most of which were managed by a subsidiary of his employers at the time, HSBC Private Bank.

He created what became known as the “Lagarde list” of HSBC account holders who allegedly used the financial institution’s services for money laundering and tax evasion, leaking the list to the current International Monetary Fund (IMF) head, Christine Lagarde, who was French finance minister at the time.

Continuing his anti-banking crusade, Falciani has now fallen back on crypto to clean up the financial space, by creating his own cryptocurrency – Tabu, which has been developed by ‘Tactical Whistleblowers’, a non-profit organization founded by Falciani.

To date, the Tabu token project has raised €1.3 million (appr. $1.47 million), however, an additional €2 million of capital is required in order to ensure adequate funding for the project’s ongoing development. Falciani’s mission is to cut corruption caused by what he sees as inefficiencies of the traditional banking documentation system, by also developing a blockchain powered registration system.

Tactical Whistleblowers, with its HQ in Valencia, is comprised of several academics with a strong background in Mathematics from the Valencia Polytechnic University.

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @BitcoinNewsCom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post HSBC Whistleblower Is Developing His Own Cryptocurrency appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

IMF Cautions Malta on “Significant” Terrorism, Laundering Risks Due to Blockchain Growth

IMF Inspection Reveals Malta Needs More Regulatory Oversight for Blockchain

The government of Malta has received cautionary notes from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) regarding its rate of blockchain and cryptocurrency adoption, warning that unchecked proliferation carries “significant risks” for money laundering and terrorism. during a recent financial assessment carried out on the island.

According to English daily The Times of Malta, IMF made this statement after a recent financial assessment carried out on the island. Reporting on the situational analysis put forward by the IMF, it said that the growth of blockchain in Malta has created significant risks of financial systems directed towards the likelihood of increased money laundering and financing terrorist activities.

Malta has in recent times been recognized as one of the leading countries in Europe and the world that has favorable policies towards the development of blockchain enterprises. The rate of development has set Malta on the map as one of the go-to places for anything blockchain and crypto-related businesses.

While efforts towards accelerating the development of the industry are being lauded, the IMF showed concerns about the supervisory system currently in place and suggested emphatically that the authorities should improve their understanding of the risks and employ adequate sanctions in case of breaches.

The IMF also thought there was a need for improvement in staffing and formulate a long-term guaranteed financial and operational independence supervisory system as according to it, Malta’s Financial Services Authority was experiencing strain in operation due to an increased number of fintech operators with extensive new products and evolving regulatory environment.

Malta’s declaration of being a blockchain island was underlined by its recently-enacted policies covering new technology and digital assets. This may have caused a positive development for the industry but also increased the risks involved that may result from a lack of proper oversight. The IMF assessment should enable the authorities to re-evaluate their current situation and ensure that the systems put in place are foolproof.

Perhaps, this development brought about by the IMF will also stir up other jurisdictions working towards harmony with the blockchain industry to further improve their policies and regulatory framework to ensure a healthy crypto ecosystem.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @BitcoinNewsCom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post IMF Cautions Malta on “Significant” Terrorism, Laundering Risks Due to Blockchain Growth appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

French Regulator Tightens Controls on Unauthorized Crypto Firms

Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), the body responsible for regulating financial markets in France has noted in its last update that four cryptocurrency websites have been blacklisted.

This follows the regulators blacklisting 20 new investment websites, mostly cryptocurrency-related ventures, back in September. At the time, AMF advised French citizens investing in these new projects that “no advertising materials should make you overlook the fact that high returns always involve high risk”.

Now, nine more websites have been listed as “proposing atypical investments without being authorized to do so,” on the AMF website on December 14th. The blacklisted websites contain four crypto websites which reportedly centre on unauthorized investment offerings.

According to the AMF, websites such as one of the blacklisted sites elos-patrimoine.com were accused of offering monthly returns to investors between 3% and 5% without the authorization to offer guarantees. The other cryptocurrency websites were live-crypto.com.net, iminage.com, and infoconso.info.

French investors were warned that many new cryptocurrency projects are still awaiting AMF’s approval to offer services, and unfamiliar websites should be treated with caution by the public, particularly given the current wave of new crypto websites coming online.

The move by the AMF is part of an increased focus in ensuring that new ICO’s are fulfilling regulator’s legal registration and operating requirements. In September, the French Parliament passed the Autorité des marchés financiers framework drafted early in the year, designed to protect those investing in ICOs.

Earlier this year, French finance minister Bruno Le Maire described cryptocurrency as a “revolution”. Another prominent national, former French finance minister Christine Lagarde, now IMF head, described future international digital currency regulation as “inevitable”.

In September, France’s Minister for the Economy and Finance announced that the government had accepted an article of the Business Growth and Transformation bill (PACTE) dedicated to Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) which stipulates that prior to any ICO, a firm must apply for a license from the AMF providing detailed information on the offer and issuer.

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @BitcoinNewsCom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post French Regulator Tightens Controls on Unauthorized Crypto Firms appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

IMF Urges Consideration of National Crypto: Harness Benefits, Manage Risks

Reaffirming an open stance to the versatile application of blockchain technologies and digital currencies, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde has furthered the discussion surrounding the prospect of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). She said that they should be considered and urged further discussion about the potential roles of central banks.

Speaking at the Singapore Fintech Festival on  14 November 2018, Lagarde opened up to the audience about the disruptive nature of technological change and said: “The key to is to harness the benefits while managing the risks”.

Crypto-race

In her speech, she noted three areas for her address: the evolving nature of money and fintech development, central bank roles in the new financial landscape, especially regarding CBDC, and an examination of downsides and steps toward mitigation.

Noting the larger names in the space such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple, Lagarde believes that cryptocurrencies are seeking a firm position in the “cashless world” and are “constantly reinventing themselves” as they hope to seek more legitimate grounds through stable values, as well as cheaper and faster transaction settlements.

CBDCs

According to Lagarde, e-money providers consider themselves to be less risky than banks due to the fact that they do not lend money and that cryptocurrencies are seeking to “anchor trust in technology”. However, she remains skeptical and retains the belief that “proper regulations of these entities will remain a pillar of trust”.

Lagarde published an article earlier this month (November 2018) that established the case for regulations that don’t stifle innovations, offering a balanced argument for and against cryptocurrencies.

After revealing the latest IMF paper named Casting Light on Central Bank Digital Currencies, one that covers the pros and cons of the concept, Lagarde said, “We should consider the possibility to issue digital currency. There may be a role for the state to supply money to the digital economy.”

Key points

Firstly, she argued that CBDCs may offer “great promise” in the area of financial inclusion; at their core, cryptocurrencies are capable of reaching any corner of the globe with a computer and an internet connection, thus providing rural areas populated with individuals and businesses with a robust financial tool. Efforts to connect unbanked rural areas to the national financial network are already underway in the Philippines.

Secondly, she discusses digital currency in the context of security and consumer protections; suggesting that just as the introduction and subsequent dominance of cash (paper and coins) provided a low-cost and widely available solution, digital currencies can also do so.

She said: “Regulation may not be able to fully redress these downsides. A digital currency could offer advantages, as a backup means of payment. And it could boost competition by offering a low-cost and efficient alternative — as did its grandfather, the old reliable paper note.”

Lagarde sees digital currencies as having a third potential benefit which is privacy, though she also argues that banks would not be ready to offer a fully anonymous digital currency due to it creating a “bonanza for criminals”.

Lastly, she lists three downsides to CBDCs: Financial integrity risks, financial stability, and risks to innovation, areas that have also been questioned by other institutions around the world including the Bank of England.

Conclusively, Lagarde looks optimistically toward the future and “more fundamentally”, retaining an open mind to change. She said, “In the world of fintech, we need to harness change so it is fair, safe, efficient, and dynamic.”

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post IMF Urges Consideration of National Crypto: Harness Benefits, Manage Risks appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

IMF Big Guns Uphold Pro-Blockchain Views, Commit Long-Term Research

Key figures at International Monetary Fund (IMF) have recently espoused pro-blockchain views with the IMF Managing Director believing in the public benefits of cryptocurrencies, and the Deputy Counsel discussing blockchain technology as part of ongoing future policy research.

Risk and reward

Earlier on in November, the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF) published a bulletin in which IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde authored an article titled ‘A Regulatory Approach to Fintech: Guarding Against Emerging Risks Without Stifling Innovation’. Highlighting the challenges facing cryptocurrencies, what opportunities they offer, as well as their downsides, she acknowledges the polarizing camps in which many position themselves with regards to the crypto-industry.

According to Lagarde, there are crypto-evangelicals who see the tech innovation as a “similar breakthrough” to the invention of the telephone, and its initial dismissal by the dominant market forces. She also acknowledges the opposing side who believe cryptocurrencies to be “a fad or a fraud”, and says that the new technology should not be dismissed “so lightly”.

Echoing the balanced statements she had made earlier this year, she continues to argue that in the wake of these new technologies, regulators will be challenged to protect consumers and investors from fraud, tackle tax evasion as well as money laundering and terrorism financing, while maintaining the “integrity and stability on the financial system”. But this must also be done carefully as not to stifle innovations that will benefit the public.

Conclusively, she wrote: “Above all, we must keep an open mind about crypto-assets and fintech, not only because of the risks they pose but also because of their potential to improve our lives. When in doubt, think of Bell and his telephone.”

“Anchored” by Blockchain

At the Singapore Fintech Festival on 12 November, IMF General Counsel Ross Leckow said during a discussion with Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse: “The IMF is devoting a lot of attention to fintech and blockchain.”

Giving focus to the demand for absolute regulatory certainty, Leckow described the global blockchain regulatory discussions as “early stage”, adding “a lot more work needs to be done”.

Leckow’s views fall in line with those of his colleague Lagarde; when questioned by Garlinghouse on the IMF’s views of digital assets, Leckow said:

“The IMF takes a balanced view. Each country has to decide for themselves what type of regulatory framework is best. But generally speaking, they should be cognizant of risk but also the potential to make the global system more efficient, more inclusive with this new technology.”

Marshall Islands

These open-minded statements may run somewhat in contrary to an ongoing issue regarding the Marshall Islands and their intentions to launch a national cryptocurrency.

It was reported on 12 September that the IMF had published a 58-page report warning against the plan to adopt a digital currency named Sovereign, citing international banking relations and the potential disruption to foreign aid as areas of concern.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post IMF Big Guns Uphold Pro-Blockchain Views, Commit Long-Term Research appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Argentinian Economy Nosedive Attracts Crypto Investors as Peso Falls

Argentina is not quite undergoing the pain of Venezuela but it’s beginning to feel the economic pressure, driving numerous investors to Bitcoin as a safe haven for their pesos.

The Argentinian economy has shrunk by 4% during the second quarter, with President Mauricio Macri’s government announcing that it expects the economy to shrink further by 2.4% this year. One of the causes of the slump has been attributed to a drought that occurred early in 2018 which severely damaged soybean and corn production.

Fausto Spotorno, Director of the Buenos Aires-based Center for Economic Studies observed that the downturn was due to crop failure, saying: “That really hurt growth in the quarter… The second quarter is when we harvest soybeans and corn, so there was a big drop in agricultural production.”

As a result, peso’s value has fallen. This has affected the morale of both investors and savers, consequently opening them up to the Bitcoin market. Economist and mathematician D.H. Taylor writes:

“Argentinians are moving in large numbers out of their peso and into a more stable currency, BTC. The numbers being witnessed by the markets in BTC are surging from Argentina,” adding that “The stability being offered by the digital currency is far greater than the peso and Argentinians are moving in quickly.”

The Argentinian government is now looking at Bitcoin with real intent as the economy begins to falter and efforts by the Central Bank have made absolutely no impact. As a result, it’s been reported that the Central bank may even be considering investing their currency reserves into Bitcoin and US dollars to gain some stability in case of a further need to devaluate the peso.

In May of this year, a massive peso selloff forced the government to seek support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), receiving a $50 billion bailout and contributions towards a public works fund as inflation continues to rise.

Meanwhile, the demand for BTC is rising with 12 ATMs scheduled for the capital Buenos Aries and plans to saturate the country with more machines, and more merchants are now accepting payments in Bitcoin.

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @BitcoinNewsCom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post Argentinian Economy Nosedive Attracts Crypto Investors as Peso Falls appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.