In October, Christine Lagarde, chief of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), said, “I think that we are about to see massive disruptions [by cryptocurrency].” She went further to say that the IMF could even consider launching its own cryptocurrency sometime in the future. Lagarde is once again coming out in favor of the cryptocurrency industry, announcing that she feels the timing is right to globally discuss the potential benefits of crypto assets.
Lagarde, who has headed the IMF since 2011, didn’t say that she’s 100% behind cryptocurrencies, but her remarks echo what many financial minds and economists are saying—cryptocurrencies are here, they’re not going away and it’s time to take them seriously. She wrote a blog post on the IMF website stating, “A judicious look at crypto-assets should lead us to neither crypto-condemnation nor crypto-euphoria.”
The former French Minister of Economic Affairs explained in the post that “understanding the risks that crypto-assets may pose to financial stability is vital if we are to distinguish between real threats and needless fears. That is why we need an even-handed regulatory agenda, one that protects against risks without discouraging innovation.” Lagarde suggests that global economy policymakers take a clear approach that will ultimately enable the financial community to adequately embrace the digital currency landscape, while gaining the knowledge necessary to avoid the dark side.
In a March blog post she wrote on the IMF site, entitled “Addressing the Dark Side of the Crypto World,” Lagarde said that blockchains were an “exciting advancement that could help revolutionize fields beyond finance.” She emphasized that it is imperative that regulators ensure they have a thorough knowledge of how the technology works in order to avoid some of the risks associated with digital assets.
Lagarde has her head on straight. She grasps the potential of cryptocurrency to revolutionize financial operations, but sees the importance of establishing regulations that can help to control illicit activity. She wants to see what she calls an “even-handed approach,” which will help continue propelling innovation in the cryptocurrency industry while helping to weed out those that use the vehicle for nefarious activity.
In her latest blog entry, Lagarde seems understand what many in the industry have already realized. Cryptocurrencies are here to stay. They’re maturing rapidly and are quickly gaining favor by an ever-growing population. Reversing course at this point is not an option; rather, economic and financial entities need to embrace them and help mold them into a legitimate and viable financial solution.