'Massive Disruption': IMF's Lagarde Says Cryptocurrencies Must Be Taken Seriously

Christine Lagarde, head of the IMF, has warned that central banks and financial services need to pay closer attention to cryptocurrencies.

Oct 13, 2017 at 12:30 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:02 a.m. UTC

Christine Lagarde, managing director of the international monetary fund (IMF), has warned that central banks and financial services need to pay closer attention to cryptocurrencies.

Speaking to CNBC at the IMF's Annual Meetings in Washington D.C., Lagarde said:

"I think that we are about to see massive disruptions."

According to Lagarde, cryptocurrencies could play a future role in updating the IMF's own internal currency, a reserve asset named the Special Drawing Right (SDR).

She said: "What we will be looking into is how this currency, the Special Drawing Right, can actually use the technology to be more efficient and less costly."

The IMF has been exploring the potential of the technology for some time, taking a focus on both cross-border payments and the possibility of a central bank-backed cryptocurrency.

Further, as the fund's managing director, Lagarde has been a notable advocate of the technology.

Speaking at London conference last month, she said that cryptocurrencies may give traditional currencies a "run for their money," while back in June, Lagarde argued that distributed ledger tech (DLT) could be used as a means to combat financial fraud and funding of terrorism.

In her conversation with CNBC today, Lagarde spoke out against JPMorgan Chase head Jamie Dimon's heavy dismissal of bitcoin as a "fraud" last month, and warned against miscategorizing the cryptocurrency sphere as speculative or fraudulent.

Lagarde advised: "It's a lot more than that as well."

Christine Lagarde image via Shutterstock

The Festival for the Decentralized World
Thursday - Sunday, June 9-12, 2022
Austin, Texas
Save a Seat Now

DISCLOSURE

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Trending

1
CoinDesk - Unknown
CoinDesk Confidential: Jesse Johnson

The Pixelcraft Studios COO's greatest regret: Not dropping out of school sooner.

The Pixelcraft Studios COO's greatest regret: Not dropping out of school sooner.

CoinDesk - Unknown
2
CoinDesk - Unknown
Defining Cryptocurrency Regulation Important for the Industry to Grow: Morgan Stanley

Disagreement on new legislation would be negative and lead to an extended period of uncertainty, the bank said.

Disagreement on new legislation would be negative and lead to an extended period of uncertainty, the bank said.

CoinDesk - Unknown
3
CoinDesk - Unknown
'Not About Playing It Safe': Krista Kim on How Artists Inspire the Metaverse

As contemporary artist Krista Kim sees it, there are too many corporate executives conceiving these new virtual worlds and not enough genuine creatives.

As contemporary artist Krista Kim sees it, there are too many corporate executives conceiving these new virtual worlds and not enough genuine creatives.

CoinDesk - Unknown
4
CoinDesk - Unknown
StarkWare Reaches $8B Valuation Following Latest $100M Funding Round

The blockchain scaling solution last raised funds in November at a $2 billion valuation.

The blockchain scaling solution last raised funds in November at a $2 billion valuation.

CoinDesk - Unknown