The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) urged world leaders to implement comprehensive regulation of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, citing risks to global finance if the fast-growing digital assets remain unchecked.
Speaking at a conference on digital money in Seoul on Thursday, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva warned that widespread cryptocurrency adoption could undermine critical monetary policies, capital flow management, and tax collection efforts, especially during times of crisis.
“We aim to build a more efficient financial system by guiding to mitigate crypto risks while also utilising some of the innovative technologies,” Georgieva stated. “Well-designed rules can encourage innovation in responsible ways.”
Her remarks come on the heels of a KuCoin study showing that 35% of Nigerians aged 18–60 are now investing in Bitcoin and other digital assets as digital assets gain traction worldwide. Nigerian authorities have also moved this year to implement new regulations addressing cryptocurrencies.
While recognising the momentum of cryptocurrencies, Georgieva argued that coordinated government rules are essential to prevent the disruption of critical safeguards like financial stability. With crypto usage spreading, she said policymakers face a key choice: either lead controlled innovation or risk powerlessness in the face of uncontrolled technological change.
The IMF has specifically called for uniform international standards around cryptocurrencies to close gaps cybercriminals exploit. The organisation has also urged governments to require crypto firms to separate customer assets from their corporate balances, reducing risk.