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Cryptocurrencies: From national regulations to international coordination

Cryptocurrencies lie at the centre of many of the questions being asked by individuals, companies and market authorities, and therefore by nation states. Their position within the economic environment is becoming more and more important for several related reasons:

  • The large investments made by those people who consider cryptocurrencies safe havens or speculative tools
  • The impressive rise of fund-raising in cryptocurrencies; the famous ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) mentioned in the GEAB no 122[1]
  • The criticisms made of the cryptocurrency superstar, Bitcoin – on themes such as the mystery surrounding its creation, its volatility, energy consumption and so on…

Figure 1 – Number of ICOs and funds collected in millions of dollars from January 2017 to March 2018. Source: Coinspeaker

Hence, the approach to cryptocurrencies taken by states gains geopolitical dimensions. What strategy to adopt regarding them? Which regulation(s) to implement? How to maintain sovereignty in the face of globalised technology?

The IMF, a key player in global finance, is likely to play a leading role in international coordination with the main objective of keeping control. ‘Chacun sa route, chacun son chemin’ (Each to their own way), is the current song of nation states on cryptocurrencies. An overview of the situation, country by country, shows their different approaches in the following key areas:

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