IMF Outlines Need for Global Approach to Crypto Regulation

The IMF called for a “comprehensive, consistent and coordinated” approach to harness the benefits of crypto’s underlying technology while mitigating its risks.

AccessTimeIconDec 10, 2021 at 1:12 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 5:20 p.m. UTC

The International Monetary Fund (IMF), the financial institution focused on maintaining worldwide financial stability, has outlined its proposal for establishing a global regulatory framework for crypto.

The IMF called for a “comprehensive, consistent and coordinated” approach in order to harness the benefits of crypto’s underlying technology while mitigating some of its risks, in a blog published on Thursday.

This will prove a “daunting task,” the IMF said. “But if we start now, we can achieve the policy goal of maintaining financial stability while benefiting from the benefits that the underlying technological innovations bring.”

According to the IMF, regulating crypto at a global level should have three core elements:

  1. “Crypto-asset service providers that deliver critical functions should be licensed or authorized. These would include storage, transfer, settlement and custody of reserves and assets, among others, similar to existing rules for financial service providers.”
  2. “Requirements should be tailored to the main use cases of crypto assets and stablecoins. For example, services and products for investments should have requirements similar to those of securities brokers and dealers, overseen by the securities regulator. Services and products for payments should have requirements similar to those of bank deposits, overseen by the central bank or the payments oversight authority.”
  3. “Authorities should provide clear requirements on regulated financial institutions concerning their exposure to and engagement with crypto.”

Last month, the IMF warned of the increasing use of crypto in the developing world – something it referred to as “cryptoization” – which could destabilize economies and hamper central banks’ monetary policy.


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.

Jamie Crawley

Jamie Crawley is a CoinDesk news reporter based in London.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.

Read more about