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IMF and World Bank launch “Learning Coin” to better understand blockchain and crypto assets

Mon, 15 Apr 2019, 06:30 am UTC

Two international financial institutions – the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank – are the latest to jump on crypto and blockchain bandwagon.

In a report dated April 13, the Financial Times said that the organizations have launched a private blockchain and quasi-cryptocurrency as part of their efforts to better understand this technology.

Dubbed “Learning Coin,” the asset is not a real cryptocurrency like bitcoin and would have no monetary value. Importantly, it could be accessed only within the IMF and the World Bank.

In a statement, the IMF said that the project aims to bridge the quickly widening knowledge gap brought about by the rapid evolution of the technology.

“The development of crypto-assets and distributed ledger technology is evolving rapidly, as is the amount of information (both neutral and vested) surrounding it. This is forcing central banks, regulators and financial institutions to recognize a growing knowledge gap between the legislators, policymakers, economists and the technology,” it said.

“This project begins to bridge that gap and form a strong knowledge base of the technology among IMF and World Bank staff.”

According to the report, the development of Learning Coin has helped the staff of these organizations familiarize themselves with the principles and concepts related to distributed ledgers, crypto assets, smart contracts, and associated challenges like money laundering.

The IMF said that the Learning Coin app would act as a knowledge hub, hosting their content such as blogs, research, videos and presentations. The app is a prototype that will aim to bring to the forefront, both the positives and the negatives of this technology.

World Bank and IMF staff completing certain educational milestones would be able to “earn” Learning Coins. Although it has no monetary value, developers are currently testing how staff can redeem Learning Coins for some kind of rewards. This, in turn, will enable the World Bank and the IMF to better understand potential real-life use cases of crypto assets.

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