A recent report by the Financial Times has revealed that the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have collaborated to launch a private blockchain network, which will enable “explorations and experimentations” into Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT).
In addition to that, both institutions have reportedly created a digital asset, dubbed the “Learning Coin,” based on their joint blockchain network.
The report claims that the Learning Coin was created as a tool to aid the institutions in their effort to better understand blockchain technology, including its function as an underlying technology for crypto assets.
However, while the asset does seem like it is a cryptocurrency, the Financial Times stresses that it isn’t exactly one. For one, the currency doesn’t have a monetary value, and it isn’t tied to any known fiat currency.
In addition to that, the coin is only intended for use by IMF and World Bank staff as they pursue “a deeper knowledge” of blockchain technology. As such, the coin, as well as all of its properties and uses, will only be accessible within both institutions.
An App and a Reward System
Also, an application was also reported to have been developed by the institutions, and it is expected to accompany the Learning Coin’s use. The app would help staffers with research efforts, and it will support learning materials and content such as presentations, informational videos, and blog posts.
Staff at both institutions were said to be earning Learning Coin tokens whenever they reach laid-out educational milestones in their blockchain experimentation and exploration efforts. Also, while the coin still doesn’t have any real-world or monetary value, workers at the institutions are said to be working on how employees can redeem their tokens in exchange for certain “rewards.”
Both Institutions seem to be fans of the Blockchain
The news is coming less than a week after Christine Lagarde, the Managing Director of the IMF, stated that new and emerging technologies such as blockchain technology are having impacts on the stability of the global financial system. Lagarde’s expressed this sentiment while in an interview with news outlet CNBC at the 2019 Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group and the IMF in Washington D.C. on April 10.
As part of her comments, the French policymaker had stated:
“I think the role of the disruptors and anything that uses distributed ledger technology, whether you call it crypto assets, currencies or whatever — and it’s far from the Bitcoins we used to talk about a year ago — that is clearly shaking the system.”
She pointed out that central banks and financial regulators all over the world have recognized the potential of blockchain-based technologies to transform how the global financial system operates. Last year, Lagarde also encouraged the exploration of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs). In a speech at the Singapore FinTech Festival on November 14, Lagarde called for an increased issuance of CBDCs, pointing out a decrease in the demand for physical cash and the growing appeal for digital money.
The IMF Chief also stated that major crypto assets are “vying for a spot in the cashless world, constantly reinventing themselves in the hope of offering more stable value, and quicker, cheaper settlement.” Also, last summer, the World Bank launched the first global blockchain-based bond settlement, raising $81 million in the process. The bond, which was handled by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CommBank), had additional investors, including Northern Trust, the NSW Treasury Corporation, QBE Insurance, among others.
In an official statement, CommBank stated that it was handling the bond with its own private Ethereum blockchain, and the Microsoft Corporation has reviewed its security and architecture.
The two-year bond, which was dubbed the Blockchain Operated New Debt Instrument (BONDI, in reference to Sydney’s famous Bondi Beach), was viewed as a first step towards moving bond transactions from manual processes to cheaper and faster-automated ones.