News - IMF sees Bitcoin as important asset protection

By Luc Vesters

IMF sees Bitcoin as important asset protection

Bitcoin (BTC)
World Economy

Especially people in countries with restrictive financial regulations are increasingly turning to Bitcoin to move their capital more freely across borders. This was discovered by researchers at the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

In their report, "A Primer on Bitcoin Cross-Border Flows" they explain how Bitcoin is already being used to bypass traditional banking systems. This particularly affects regions in economic distress or with strict capital controls. They also highlight that a significant portion of Bitcoin transaction volume comes from countries such as Argentina and Venezuela, where the population suffers from persistently high inflation.

Normally, capital flees abroad based on economic indicators such as the strength of the exchange rate. In contrast, Bitcoin's movements showed a higher correlation with crypto-specific themes such as market volatility or the "Fear and Greed" index. Still, BTC only supplemented traditional capital flows: "Overall, there is not much evidence that cross-border Bitcoin flows have replaced existing capital flows," the study states. Moreover, "cross-border on-chain transactions would be significantly larger on average than off-chain transactions." The significantly higher transaction costs on the Bitcoin blockchain are likely responsible for this.

However, the IMF is not all positive. Bitcoin would also complicate regulators' efforts to monitor financial transactions to prevent illegal activities such as money laundering.

International cooperation and a clear regulatory framework for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are therefore needed. At least the EU already has standardized regulation in this area with the MiCA regulation.

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