‘Fight Fire with Fire’: IMF Chief Lagarde Calls for Blockchain-Powered Bitcoin Regulation
The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) wants to start a blockchain arms race.
Christine Lagarde, the IMF’s managing director, wrote in a Tuesday blog post that she believes regulators can use blockchain or other distributed ledger technologies (DLT) to regulate Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and prevent them from being used in connection with money laundering and other financial crimes.
Elsewhere in the post, which bears the ominous title “Addressing the Dark Side of the Crypto World,” Lagarde explained that she believes DLT and other digital technologies can be used by financial regulators across the globe to “communicate seamlessly” and create registries of customer information and digital signatures that would be linked to biometric information.
Previously, Lagarde has said that cryptocurrency regulation is “inevitable” and has harped on this technology’s associations with illicit activities.
But though marketed as a way to combat terrorism and other nefarious activities, it’s easy — as Motherboard noted in its coverage of the proposal — to see Lagarde’s vision for a DLT-based surveillance platform leading to a “dystopian scenario” in which governments use DLT to track not only the movement of money but also people.
Meanwhile, a growing number of regulators are calling for international coordination on cryptocurrency regulation. On Tuesday, Japan became the latest country to announce that it will formally call for G20 members to discuss international cryptocurrency regulations at the group’s upcoming finance summit.
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