The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank are partnering up to launch a private blockchain and “quasi-cryptocurrency.”
The asset, “Learning Coin,” will be accessible only within the Washington-based multinational agencies. Since the coin has no monetary value, it’s not an actual cryptocurrency, according to The Financial Times.
Instead, the coin will be used to study the technologies used for crypto assets, and how they can be utilized in the real world. In addition, Learning Coin’s app will serve as a “hub for knowledge” where blogs, research, videos and presentations can be stored.
“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. This project begins to bridge that gap and form a strong knowledge base of the technology among IMF and World Bank staff,” said a statement from the IMF.
During the test, the agencies’ staff members will earn coins for achieving educational milestones, and will then be allowed to redeem the assets for certain rewards. Once the test is complete, the World Bank and IMF might then use blockchain to launch smart contracts, fight money laundering and boost transparency.
Earlier this month, IMF managing director Christine Lagarde spoke to CNBC about how digital currencies are “shaking” the banking system and need to be monitored to keep stability.
“I think the role of the disruptors and anything that is using distributed ledger technology, whether you call it crypto, assets, currencies, or whatever … that is clearly shaking the system,” she said, adding that “we don’t want innovation that would shake the system so much that we would lose the stability that is needed.”