IMF, World Bank Ponder Joint Pilot Crypto Project


A brand-new campaign to educate internally about blockchain with a “quasi-cryptocurrency” is a strange move for the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to undertake jointly, given that the two global financial bodies have traditionally had divergent opinions about crypto coins.

As of today, tech writers have been reporting on a new project called the “learning coin” that was reported in Financial Times Friday.

Coindesk writers specify that the learning coin will only be in a internal holding and will not have any monetary value.

The project is aimed to build “a strong knowledge base” around blockchain technology among staff at the organizations,” writes Yogita Khatri this morning, going into some of the context around this crypto endeavor. “Also launched as part of the token project is a Learning Coin app, allowing users to share content like blogs, research, videos and presentations. Staff at the organizations will also be able to “earn” coins for achieving certain educational milestones. While the token has no real-world value, the developers are reportedly testing how staff can redeem it for rewards.”

While IMF officials have often been circumspect about getting involved in blockchain or crypto coins (see our coverage in December of last year,) new remarks printed by Financial Times show that the IMF may be warming up to involvement in crypto as a necessity:

“The development of crypto-assets and distributed ledger technology is evolving rapidly, as is the amount of information …surrounding it,” an IMF official recently said, according to Khatri’s reporting. “This is forcing central banks, regulators and financial institutions to recognize a growing knowledge gap between the legislators, policymakers, economists and the technology.”

Some reporters also note remarks by IMF managing director Christine Lagarde, who has been positive about crypto in the past:

“Last year, Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) called on central banks to change their mindset and study the possibility of issuing their own digital currency in order to compensate for the decline in cash use,” writes Denis Ometchneko at iHodl.

As for the World Bank, our own reporting shows some of the bullish sentiment there for crypto, including last year’s story on e-procurement.

What are your thoughts on crypto? Add your voice to the comments and let us know where you think central bankers and other more reluctant parties are heading in 2019 as all of us continue to analyze the potential and the possible hurdles of greater cryptocurrency adoption.