The IMF maintains that bitcoin is a “short cut” with many risks, but Gladstein denies this.
In his post on Twitter, he stated that countries will encourage the adoption of cryptocurrencies.
Alex Gladstein, director of strategy for the Human Rights Foundation, questioned in a tweet the International Monetary Fund (IMF) stance on the alleged risks of cryptocurrencies. The body had assured in a statement in July that cryptocurrencies, especially bitcoin (BTC), may represent “a shortcut” for many countries, but their negative consequences outweigh their potential benefits.
Gladstein, who is also a member of the Oslo Freedom Forum, questioned several points of the IMF publication, in which analysts Tobias Adrian and Rhoda Weeks-Brown focused on those who consider the main negative aspects of a possible adoption of bitcoin as legal currency.
In its Twitter post, Gladstein stated that the obligation to accept payments in bitcoin, resulting from its adoption as legal currency in a country, “is precisely the point” of legislation. However, it should be clarified that the adoption of bitcoin does not necessarily imply an imposition on citizens. In fact, in the case of El Salvador, President Nayib Bukele stated that no one will be obliged to download the official cryptocurrency wallet.
What’s more, regarding the possibility of nations encouraging the use of cryptocurrencies as currency, Gladstein assured that “they can do it and they will do it”.
Another of the positions reflected by the IMF in the statement described by CriptoNoticias at the end of July is that the adoption of cryptocurrencies would affect public and private finances in the world economy. Quoting a phrase from the Fund article stating that “central banks cannot charge interest rates in a foreign currency,” Gladstein replied, “Bingo.” Bitcoin gives people the option to choose a monetary system without inflation.
Likewise, Gladstein disproved the claim that bitcoin is not useful as a safeguard of value for the unbanked. For him, this statement is “an astonishing falsehood” and even assured that, faced with the dichotomy of which currency to use, “the choice is simple: spend the fiat money and save the BTC.”
What the IMF says about bitcoin
According to the IMF publication cited above, Bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies “almost always remained in the suburbs of finance.” although many countries actively consider making them legal currency. This would imply its compulsory acceptance in the public and private sectors.
While it doesn’t explicitly name them, the agency seems to refer to the case of El Salvador. The nation chaired by Nayib Bukele will be the first country in the world to adopt bitcoin as legal currency with the law that will take effect on September 7.
About, the IMF sees as benefits of cryptocurrencies that allow to make easy and cheaper payments, improve financial inclusion, promote competition and resilience among payment providers, and facilitate international transfers.
However, the body ensures that its risks “exceed its potential benefits.” Among the main negative consequences of the adoption of bitcoin, it is noted its volatility, the “opportunity to do private operations for better or for worse” and its impact on macroeconomic stability.
In addition, the IMF believes that the adoption of cryptocurrencies would affect the tax collection of governments and would pose a security threat, given that they “do not have robust regulations to combat money laundering or terrorist financing.”