The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank have partnered to launch a private blockchain and “quasi-cryptocurrency.”
The Financial Times (FT) reported last week that the two global financial agencies launched an asset, called “Learning Coin,” to better understand blockchain technology and how cryptocurrencies can be used. The asset is not a real cryptocurrency and has no monetary value, and will be accessible only within the IMF and World Bank. In addition, the agencies developed an app that will serve as a “hub for knowledge” where blogs, research, videos and presentations can be stored.
“The development of crypto-assets and distributed ledger technology is evolving rapidly, as is the amount of information (both neutral and vested) surrounding it,” the IMF said. “This is forcing central banks, regulators and financial institutions to recognize a growing knowledge gap between the legislators, policymakers, economists and the technology. This project begins to bridge that gap and form a strong knowledge base of the technology among IMF and World Bank staff.”
Learning Coin has reportedly helped the staff of the Washington-based financial agencies familiarize themselves with the principles and concepts related to distributed ledgers, crypto assets, smart contracts, and associated challenges like money laundering. World Bank and IMF staff will earn Learning Coins in exchange for achieving educational milestones. Token holders can then redeem the coins for some “real-life” rewards.
The news about Learning Coin came days after IMF managing director Christine Lagarde warned that cryptocurrencies could act as a catalyst to shake up the banking system.
“I think the role of the disruptors and anything that is using distributed ledger technology, whether you call it crypto, assets, currencies, or whatever … that is clearly shaking the system,” Lagarde said, adding that “we don’t want innovation that would shake the system so much that we would lose the stability that is needed.”
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