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Cryptoization threatens financial stability

The International Monetary Fund said that the advent of digital currencies in emerging markets could spark cryptoization of local economies. This is upsetting financial stability. Bitcoin and its kin have soared in price and popularity over the last year. This can be seen in economies such as Vietnam, India and Pakistan. U.S. blockchain researcher Chainalysis summarized this.

Cryptocurrencies offer a cheaper and quicker way of sending money across borders. Digital tokens such as stablecoins helps in protecting the savings from high fluctuations in local currencies. El Salvador became the first country in the world to adopt bitcoin as legal tender. This happened in last September, and that too because of the backers. They tipped the experiment to lower costs for billions of dollars of remittances, which were sent to the Central American nation. The IMF said that unsound macroeconomic policies and inefficient payment systems are among the drivers of cryptocurrency adoption.

The exact level of adoption of crypto in emerging economies was hard to gauge. Low credibility of central banks and weak domestic banking systems also contribute to growing crypto use. Dollarization is where a foreign currency is used instead of a domestic currency. The instability of a domestic currency is the driver of this process. Wide adoption of stablecoins could also pose significant challenges. This is by reinforcing existing dollarization forces as per the IMF statement. It mentioned that the dollarization can impede central banks’ effective implementation of monetary policy. This also leads to financial stability risks through currency mismatches. The IMF added that the Cryptoization could also become a threat to fiscal policy.

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