IMF’s Georgieva urges against abandoning all crypto after Terra’s crash

She said, adding that it’s the responsibility of regulators across the globe to put up guardrails and offer education to protect investors. 
Image: Bloomberg

People shouldn’t completely shun the crypto world after the recent collapse of a popular stablecoin, an official at the International Monetary Fund said Monday.

TerraUSD, or UST, imploded earlier this month, setting off a chain reaction that saw the overall value of the cryptocurrency market slashed by hundreds of billions of dollars.

“I would beg you not to pull out of the importance of this world,” said Kristalina Georgieva, the IMF’s managing director, said at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos. “It offers us all faster service, much lower costs, and more inclusion, but only if we separate apples from oranges and bananas,” she said, adding that it’s the responsibility of regulators across the globe to put up guardrails and offer education to protect investors.

Georgieva noted that there are many different types of assets with varying levels of associated risk. For instance, there’s a big difference between stablecoins that are backed by cash and other assets and those that rely on algorithms to maintain their value, like the Terra coin, she said. Stablecoins are a type of cryptocurrency that are supposed to maintain a 1-to-1 value to a reserve asset like the US dollar.

“The less there is backing it, the more you should be prepared to take the risk of this thing blowing up in your face,” Georgieva said. But she added that not all digital money should be tarnished with the same brush.

Georgieva was speaking alongside other members of the world’s financial elite on a panel discussing central bank digital currencies. Francois Villeroy de Galhau, governor at the Central Bank of France, dismissed concerns that central banks are slowly losing people’s trust as cryptocurrencies and decentralized finance rise in popularity.

“My impression is more that in recent weeks, citizens have lost trust in crypto, more than in central banks,” Villeroy said, referring to Terra’s collapse.

© 2022 Bloomberg

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