Crypto Up; IMF and World Bank Launch Quasi-Cryptocurrency

15 April 2019, 10: 57
© Reuters.

Bitcoin rebounded to above the $5,000 level and other major cryptocurrencies traded higher as the week opened in Asia. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank have jointly introduced a quasi-cryptocurrency called “Learning Coin” for research.

Bitcoin rose 2.07% to $5,142 by 12:00 PM ET (04:00 AM GMT). The digital coin lost its grip on the $5,000 level last Friday but regained momentum on Monday morning.

Ethereum added 3.32% to $167.12, XRP gained 0.72% to $0.32699 and Litecoinsurged 7.46% to $83.138.

The crypto market cap went higher to $176.5 billion from $169 billion last Friday.

The Financial Times reported that the IMF and World Bank launched the “Learning Coin” to study the technologies that underlie the cryptocurrencies. The coin will be used only within the IMF and the World Bank and has no money.

“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,” the Financial Times cited the IMF.

By launching a private blockchain and the coin, both institutions aim to understand better the technologies revolving around cryptocurrencies, such as smart contract, distributed ledger, challenges across crypto-ecosystem, and so forth.

While the IMF signifies a willingness to learn more about the technologies that underpin cryptocurrencies, its head Christine Legarde delivered a sharp criticism to the digital tokens last week.

Speaking to CNBC last Wednesday, Legarde, the Managing Director of the IMF, warned that cryptocurrencies could act as a catalyst to shake up the banking and finance industries.

“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.

In other news, Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) CEO David Solomon said the bank did not have plans to open a crypto trading desk.

On April 10, Solomon said before the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee that the bank has engaged with clients involving in clearing physically-settled crypto futures, but there were no plans for a trading desk as reported.

“The first [Bloomberg article] wasn’t correct. Like others, we are watching and [...] doing work to try to understand the cryptocurrency market as it develops [...] but we never had plans to open a cryptocurrency trading desk,” he said.