IMF fintech survey: Central banks testing crypto waters
An IMF survey on global adoption of fintech shows a fifth of central banks are weighing the issue of cryptocurrencies
Are fintech’s stated benefits of financial inclusion and a fillip to growth visible on the ground?
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) surveyed various relevant agencies, including central banks, in 189 countries on a range of fintech topics.
It received 95 responses and the resultant paper offers some useful insights.
- Cybersecurity within fintechs is top-of-mind for most countries
- Asia is a leader in fintech adoption, particularly in China and India
- Astoundingly, sub-Saharan Africa is a global leader in mobile money, with 10% of GDP routed through mobile. (In comparison, Asia is 7% and other regions a mere 2%)
- Fintech adoption across Europe is uneven, regardless that the EU has issued various policy frameworks. For example, the UK is much ahead of the rest of Europe in terms of innovation and investment.
- About a fifth of respondents said central banks were considering issuing their own cryptocurrencies, in light of cost benefits, ease of policy implementation, and competition from other digital currencies. However, work is in early stages.
Conclusion: “While there are important regional and national differences, countries are broadly embracing the opportunities of fintech to boost economic growth and inclusion, while balancing risks to stability and integrity,” the bank said.
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