International Monetary Fund (IMF) deputy director, Dong He, on Thursday published an article that is meant to nudge the central banks to work on measures geared towards making fiat currencies “more attractive in the digital age.” Dong He believes that crypto may someday reduce the demand for central bank money and, therefore, these banks should consider adopting concepts to obstruct the competitive pressure that cryptocurrencies are already exerting on fiat currencies.
IMF’s stance when it comes to cryptocurrencies has not been particularly reassuring especially when it comes to the future of these digital assets. In an event in March, IMF Chief Christine Lagarde advised supervisors to prepare technical elements that would assist them in “fighting fire with fire.”
The deputy director reiterated this thought and outline his view that, at the moment, cryptocurrencies and other crypto assets have more adoption. Consequentially, the central banks are bound to eventually lose their command and influence on the economy, which is usually through strategies like interest rate charges.
“Second, government authorities should regulate the use of crypto assets to prevent regulatory arbitrage and any unfair competitive advantage crypto assets may derive from tighter regulation,” he pointed out. “That means rigorously applying measures to prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism, strengthening consumer protection, and effectively taxing crypto transactions.”
Dong He further pointed out some of the viable alternatives that the banks could adopt. These include the idea of the central banks moving to create their own digitized assets or digital currencies that could be exchanged in a peer-to-peer fashion, just like it is done for other cryptocurrencies.
“For example, they could make central bank money user-friendly in the digital world by issuing digital tokens of their own to supplement physical cash and bank reserves. Such central bank digital currency could be exchanged, peer to peer in a decentralized manner, much as crypto assets are,” a related excerpt from the article reads.
Already, a number of banks have been researching ways to implement such a move but there have been a number of setbacks, one of the most prominent being divergent opinions on whether such a move would pay off or not.
According to the deputy director, the central banks can actually profit from the underlying technology of cryptocurrencies – monetary policymaking will, without a doubt, benefit from such kind of technology by improving the banks’ forecasts using big data, machine learning, and, of course, artificial intelligence.
“Central banks should continue to strive to make fiat currencies better and more stable units of account. The best response by central banks to crypto is to continue running effective monetary policy while being open to fresh ideas and new demands, as economies evolve,” he noted. “That means rigorously applying measures to prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism, strengthening consumer protection, and effectively taxing crypto transactions.”