Public reaction to the news that the International Monetary Fund and World Bank are experimenting with blockchain technology and cryptoassets has been varied across the board. On Friday, the Financial Times reported the multinational agencies launched a permissioned blockchain and internal cryptoasset called “Learning Coin” to better understand distributed ledgers and associated use cases. One commentator described the development as an “odd foray,” no doubt a reflection of the controversial legacies these multinational behemoths and bailout bulwarks have left for decades.
The IMF and World Bank are in fact gamifying their deep dive into blockchain and cryptoassets, intent on rewarding staff members for achieving blockchain-related educational milestones with Learning Coin. So far, there has been no indication if overachieving recipients of Learning Coin can empty their digital wallets in exchange for the USD 15.00 “Blue and Silver Circle Cufflinks” sold by the IMF or the USD 35.00 World Bank publication The Sunken Billions Revisited: Progress and Challenges in Global Marine Fisheries. Who said World Bank researchers don’t lead exciting lives anyway?
Incidentally, if World Bankers are intent on swapping their Learning Coin for freshly-squeezed pomegranate juice in their cafeteria, it will set them back USD 1.85. That’s a whole 0.00035744 BTC. Just sayin’.
On the whole, it is a positive development that these multinational monetary mandarins are looking to close the knowledge gap that exists between these types of technology and the central banks, regulators, governments, and agencies that invariably are having to deliberate, enact, implement, and enforce policies related to digital assets. The IMF and World Bank are in fact joining a long list of central banks and other monetary authorities that have been researching and experimenting with blockchain and cryptocurrencies for years; Bank of England’s RSCoin, Bank of Canada’s Project Jasper,