Crypto Can’t Be Used as Money Due to ‘Inherent Flaws,’ BIS Tells G20

Central bankers, wary of displacing their own fiat currencies, pointed to the past year's prominent hacks and collapses.

AccessTimeIconJul 11, 2023 at 9:00 a.m. UTC
Updated Jul 12, 2023 at 7:10 a.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global event for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

Crypto’s “inherent structural flaws” make it unsuitable as a monetary tool, the Bank for International Settlements said in a report sent to finance ministers of the world’s twenty largest economies.

The report from BIS, a grouping of the world’s major central banks, cited issues of instability, inefficiency and accountability that outweigh potential innovative benefits such as automated payments.

Despite the millions of retail and institutional investors getting involved in the growing sector, “crypto has so far failed to harness innovation to the benefit of society,” said the report, prepared for a meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors due to take place in Gandhinagar, India this weekend.

“Crypto remains largely self-referential and does not finance real economic activity,” it added. “Inherent structural flaws make it unsuitable to play a significant role in the monetary system.”

The report comes after a turbulent year for crypto. The report cites the losses from the collapses of FTX and of the Terra ecosystem, the risk of hacks and rug pulls and the problems of scaling to become the size a full-on payment system will need – since, it said, permissionless blockchains that grow too large get congested.

Central bankers’ skepticism about crypto is nothing new, given fears that new payment systems could disrupt or displace the traditional fiat currencies they issue.

Members of the G20 appear to be cautious about encouraging stablecoins, cryptocurrencies tied to the value of fiat currencies, since the effect on centralized monetary policy can be even more pronounced in emerging markets.


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

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Jack Schickler

Jack Schickler was a CoinDesk reporter focused on crypto regulations, based in Brussels, Belgium. He doesn’t own any crypto.

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.