The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank have jointly launched a private blockchain and a so-dubbed quasi-cryptocurrency, the Financial Times (FT) reports on April 12.
According to the newspaper, the asset called “Learning Coin” will be accessible only within the IMF and World Bank. The coin has no money value and thus is not a real cryptocurrency, the FT underlines.
As the FT has learned, “Learning Coin” was launched in order to better understand the technologies that underlie crypto assets. Its app will serve as a hub where blogs, research, videos and presentations are stored.
During the test, the World Bank and IMF staff will earn coins for achieving certain educational milestones. The institutions will allow them to redeem the assets gained for some rewards, which will allow them to learn how coins can be used in real life.
Per the IMF, the banks and regulators across the world have to catch up with crypto technologies that are rapidly developing. The FT quotes the IMF as saying:
“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.”
Moreover, after the test, the World Bank and IMF reportedly might use blockchain to launch smart contracts, combat money laundering and enhance the overall level of transparency.
Earlier in April, IMF managing director Christine Lagarde said that blockchain innovators are shaking up the traditional financial world and have a clear impact on incumbent players. She also noted that the potential of blockchain-based technologies and assets is embraced by regulators and central banks, who recognize its positive effect.
Meanwhile, a World Bank official expressed a more skeptical point of view. According to Aanchal Anand, a Land Administration Specialist in the bank’s Global Land and Geospatial Unit, there is too much hype over blockchain, which causes unrealistic expectations.