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IMF Recommends Pacific Islands to Adopt Crypto

26 Mar, 2024 Crypto News

IMF Recommends Pacific Islands to Adopt Crypto

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has expressed the view that digital currencies, encompassing both private sector stablecoins and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), could serve as a boon for the far-flung and sparse nations scattered across the Pacific Ocean, potentially enhancing access to financial services and improving their quality.

On March 25, a report released by the IMF explored the impact that stablecoins and CBDCs could have on the economic landscapes of the Pacific Islands.

Authored by senior economic experts at the IMF, the 58-page document sheds light on the financial hardships encountered by the numerous countries and microstates within the Pacific Islands region:

“Limited and unequal access to financial services contributes to persistent poverty and inequality. The countries also are highly dependent on remittance flows, which makes them disproportionately impacted by diminishing correspondent banking relationships.”

The IMF envisions these island nations reaping the rewards of the digital currency wave by crafting more efficient payment systems, broadening the scope of financial inclusion, and counteracting the erosion of correspondent banking connections.

The discourse in the report is largely centered on CBDCs, consistent with the IMF's advocacy for such initiatives. Yet, it doesn't shy away from mentioning the potential role of privately issued stablecoins pegged to foreign currencies.

The IMF advises against the smaller Pacific Island countries launching their own sovereign stablecoins, citing a lack of regulatory infrastructure.

Notably, Tether is the only private stablecoin specifically mentioned in the document.

For Pacific Island countries that have their own national currency and established banking sectors, the report advocates for a dual-layer CBDC model in which the central bank would issue the digital currency while entrusting its management to private entities.

For those without their own currencies, it suggests:

“Foreign currency–based stablecoins could be a realistic alternative for countries without their own currencies, though only with robust regulation and supervision.”

The current financial landscape of these Pacific Island nations, as summarized in the report, shows that none have officially adopted private cryptocurrencies or stablecoins.

However, several islands, including Fiji, Palau, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu, are investigating the potential implementation of a CBDC.

The IMF continues to be a prominent global proponent of CBDCs. In November 2023, its managing director, Kristalina Georgieva, emphasized the importance for the public sector to “keep preparing to deploy” CBDCs, highlighting their potential to serve as a secure and cost-effective alternative to cash and coexist alongside "private money."

Sources:

https://cointelegraph.com/news/imf-stablecoins-cbdcs-enhance-pacific-islands-economy

https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/Departmental-Papers-Policy-Papers/Issues/2024/02/21/Rise-of-Digital-Money-Implications-for-Pacific-Island-Countries-543239?cid=bl-com-RDMEA

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