IMF Executive Board: Ban on Crypto Not Ideal, But Should Not Be Ruled Out
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IMF Executive Board: Ban on Crypto Not Ideal, But Should Not Be Ruled Out

IMF’s executives stressed the need for a comprehensive and coordinated effort to regulate digital assets, while warning that a ban, while not ideal, is not out of the question.
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On February 23rd, the IMF Executive Board published the conclusions on the organization’s recent “Elements of Effective Policies for Crypto Assets” paper. According to the publication, the executives find that “the supposed potential benefits from crypto assets have yet to materialize” and believe that a ban on digital assets should not be ruled out despite not being ideal.

IMF Board Issues Statement on Crypto, Ban Not Out of the Question 

In a document published on Thursday, IMF executives outlined their stance on international digital asset regulations. The board believes that the already present levels of adoption of digital assets already pose significant risks, while a major increase in crypto adoption could seriously impact global financial stability and the effectiveness of monetary policy.

While the release states that the executives generally do not believe that a complete ban on digital assets is the ideal way forward, they see targeted restrictions as a viable form of regulating the sector. However, it is important to note that some of the members remain adamant that an outright ban should not be ruled out.

Additionally, the report states that “while the supposed potential benefits from crypto assets have yet to materialize, significant risks have emerged.” Despite these conclusions, the document ultimately does little more than express that the executives broadly agreed that the digital asset industry needs “a comprehensive, consistent, and coordinated response”.

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Is There a Consensus Among Major Financial Institutions?

A string of recent reports issued by various financial institutions, national and international, appears to showcase a consensus among the major organization. Generally, the Reserve Bank of India, the Bank of International Settlements, the FED, and the IMF all identified cryptocurrencies as an emerging sector that can pose a major risk to stability.

The reports have also been reluctant to propose outright bans, and have generally been receptive toward further development of digital assets stressing the need to encourage innovation. However, institutions across the board have indicated a willingness to keep a possible ban on cryptocurrencies under consideration and have issued warnings to individuals and organizations—such as the recent warning for banks issued by a collection of US agencies. Furthermore, many of the publications have identified an increased need for comprehensive regulation—with India, for example, designating digital assets as a top priority for its G20 presidency.

Additionally, most of these assessments stated that the string of calamities that rocked the digital asset sector—such as the collapse of FTX—have remained confined to it due to limited integration. They, however, also noted rising levels of adoption both among individual investors and traditional institutions—as is evidenced by a string of cryptocurrency-related trademark filings and the recent statement of BNY Mellon’s CEO Robin VInce that digital assets are the bank’s “longest-term play”.

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