Finance Ministers representing the member states of the Group of Twenty (G20) gathered in Argentina this last weekend to discuss issues ranging from financial inclusion and the global tax system to the impact of technology on the world’s financial system. The group later issued a communique that downplayed cryptocurrency’s risk to global financial stability and set an October deadline for the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to explain how its standards apply to cryptocurrency assets.
Though the G20 acknowledged that “global economic growth remains robust and unemployment is at a decade low,” the group cautioned that economic growth has been “less synchronized recently” and warned of increased downside risks related to “financial vulnerabilities, heightened trade and geopolitical tensions, global imbalances, inequality and structurally weak growth, particularly in some advanced economies.”
The statement also reaffirmed the group’s commitment to embracing “technological transformation” and ensuring that the benefits are “widely shared.” As expected, the communique addressed the issue of cryptocurrency, recognizing it as one of those technological innovations with transformative potential:
“Technological innovations, including those underlying crypto-assets, can deliver significant benefits to the financial system and the broader economy. Crypt-assets do, however, raise issues with respect to consumer and investor protection, market integrity, tax evasion, money-laundering and terrorist financing. Crypto-assets lack the key attributes of sovereign currencies. While crypto-assets do not at this point pose a global financial security risk, we remain vigilant.
We welcome updates provided by the FSB and SSBs and look forward to their further work to monitor the potential risks pf crypto-assets, and to assess multilateral responses as needed. We reiterate out March commitments related to the implementation of the FATF standards, and we ask the FATF to clarify in October 2018 how its standards apply to crypto-assets.”