Lockdown of cryptocurrencies 'may not be effective in the long term' – IMF. International Monetary Fund

IMF The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has reiterated its calls for cryptocurrency regulation in certain countries, but has said that a total ban may not be the best approach.

In a June 22 report on Latin America and the Caribbean, the IMF highlighted the different approaches local governments have taken in tackling the adoption of cryptocurrencies and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). Bitcoin has been accepted as legal tender in El Salvador since September 2021, while the Bahamas was the first country to launch its own CBDC, called the Sand Dollar, in October 2020.

The IMF said Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Ecuador – countries whose governments have “ongoing” cryptocurrency regulation – are among the most active countries in the world in adopting digital assets to help people without access to banking services, to facilitate faster and cheaper payments and much more. In addition, according to the fund, most central banks in the region "have or are considering adopting digital currencies". “If well designed, CBDCs can strengthen the use, resilience and efficiency of payment systems and increase financial inclusion in [Latin America and the Caribbean],” the IMF said. “While a few countries have outright banned crypto-assets due to the associated risks, this approach may not be effective in the long term. The region should instead focus on addressing the factors driving crypto demand, including citizens' unmet needs for digital payments, and improving transparency by recording crypto asset transactions in national statistics.”