The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank have launched a private blockchain and a “quasi-cryptocurrency.” This news comes via a Financial Times report published Friday.
Per the report, the asset they are creating is called “Learning Coin” and will only be available for use within the IMF and the World Bank. However, the coin has no monetary value, meaning it is not a true cryptocurrency.
Reportedly, Learning Coin was launched for the purpose of better understanding blockchain technology and the function of cryptoassets. Its native app will act as a hub where videos, blogs, and research can be stored.
During the testing period, IMF and World Bank employees can earn Learning Coins for reaching specific educational milestones. The institutions will allow these staff members to redeem Learning Coin for rewards.
In a statement made by the IMF, the organization acknowledged that regulators, banks, and institutions like itself to catch up with blockchain technology as it evolves:
“The development of crypto-assets and distributed ledger technology is evolving rapidly, as is the amount of information (both neutral and vested) surrounding it. This is forcing central banks, regulators and financial institutions to recognize a growing knowledge gap between the legislators, policymakers, economists and the technology.”
After the test has concluded, the IMF and World Bank reportedly may use blockchain technology to create smart contracts, fight money laundering, and improve transparency.
Last November, IMF managing director Christine Lagarde encouraged central banks to consider issuing their own cryptocurrencies, and implied that the IMF itself was as well, while pointing out that most deposits in banks are already digital in nature.
And earlier this month, Lagarde said that innovators in the blockchain space are “shaking the system” of traditional financial services and offerings, while noting that regulators and banks are already embracing blockchain technology due to its massive potential.