IMF says digital currency tech can be used against crypto criminals

From BBC - March 13, 2018

Christine Lagarde has called for a crackdown on crypto-currencies, saying the technology can be used to "fight fire with fire".

The head of the International Monetary Fund says governments around the world could harness the technology to stop illegal activity.

The anonymity of currencies such as Bitcoin means they are used by criminals and terrorists, she said.

But the technology could be turned against such nefarious activities.

Regulators around the world have called for greater crypto-currency oversight.

Criminal use

Although the technology underlying digital assets has been praised as a way to speed up financial transactions and reduce costs, the anonymity behind crypto-currency trading is a big worry, Ms Lagarde said in a blog post..

What makes the technology so appealing is also what makes it "dangerous," she said, as it can be used as a "major new vehicle for money laundering and the financing of terrorism".

But she said the technologies behind crypto-currencies can be harnessed to mitigate this "peril".

"The same innovations that power crypto-assets can also help us regulate them," she said "To put it another way, we can fight fire with fire. Regulatory technology and supervisory technology can help shut criminals out of the crypto world."

Distributed ledger technology (DLT) - the technology underlying crypto-currencies - is defined by the UK government as "an asset database that can be shared across a network of multiple sites, geographies or institutions".

Rule overhaul


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