International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde released a blog post Tuesday, March 13, Addressing the Dark Side of the Crypto World. In it, she argues increasing fascination with cryptocurrencies has brought along grave costs: money laundering, terrorism, and economic instability.
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde Warns of Crypto
Addressing the Dark Side of the Crypto World contains Ms. Lagarde's most pointed remarks on cryptocurrencies since her first toe-dip back in Fall of last year. Since then, however, her opinion seems to be devolving, and her current blog post doesn't mince words. "The same reason crypto-assets like Bitcoin are so appealing," Ms. Lagarde wrote, "is also what makes them dangerous."
Her missive comes in at least five languages: English, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, and Portuguese. Clearly, the IMF wants this read widely. The IMF formed in the aftermath of World War II, based largely on the ideas of English economist John Maynard Keynes. In its modern context, the IMF is employed during financial crises to manage balance of payments through an established pool of funds known as special drawing rights (SDRs), which currently total a little over half a trillion dollars.
Recalling her earlier optimism, Ms. Lagarde continued, "The technology behind these assets—including blockchain—is an exciting advancement that could help revolutionize fields beyond finance. It could, for example, power financial inclusion by providing new, low-cost payment methods to those who lack bank accounts and in the process empower millions in low-income countries."