The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has published a document proposing a framework to understand and track systematic risks arising from cryptocurrencies. The document addresses the need for global rules for cryptoassets.
The framework establishes tools to help policymakers and regulatory authorities contain the potential risks of the cryptocurrency sector.
The IMF document titled “Assessment of Macrofinancial Risks of Cryptoassets” emphasizes the importance of integrating these tools into existing regulatory processes and the assessment of systemic risks.
“Our goal is to highlight the ways in which digital assets can amplify any turmoil in the world of cryptocurrencies into systemic risks,” stated the document.
The proposed framework by the IMF suggests a risk assessment matrix (C-RAM) that would evaluate global risks. The second objective of the framework is to serve as a tool for identifying areas of risk associated with cryptocurrencies in specific jurisdictions.
“Country-level analysis highlights vulnerabilities and risks, analyzes potential triggers leading to systemic risks, and proposes potential policy tools,” said the document.
The framework follows a three-step approach. The first step involves a decision tree that evaluates how critically important the cryptocurrency sector is to a national economy.
The second step involves the analysis of indicators, similar to those used in traditional finance, which indicate the potential for systemic risk. The third step covers the global macrofinancial risk that cryptocurrencies could pose to a country’s systemic risk assessment.
The document added that cryptocurrencies now represent an important component of the international financial sector.
Several advantages of cryptocurrencies were highlighted in the study: more efficient payment systems, faster cross-border transactions, reduced transaction costs, and increased financial inclusion.
However, the document emphasized that there is a risk of “serious consequences” if the cryptocurrency sector does not have robust regulatory frameworks and policies.
The document highlighted specific vulnerabilities that could pose systemic risks to the overall financial sector and the economy. These risks include leveraged exposure to this market, which could introduce additional vulnerabilities that would affect the rest of the economy.
Furthermore, the IMF document pointed out corporate exposure to cryptoassets due to their integration into payment systems and supply chains, which could create a risk channel.
The document also added that this integration would make exposed corporations more vulnerable in terms of profitability, discrepancies between assets and liabilities, and cash flows.