The International Monetary Fund and World Bank have launched their own ‘quasi-cryptocurrency’ called Learning Coin as part of a project designed to explore blockchain and crypto technology, the Financial Times reported this week. The agencies reportedly stressed that their coin is not an actual digital currency, since it has no monetary value and is only for internal use.
The IMF explained in a statement why the two agencies decided to launch the project:
“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. This project begins to bridge that gap and form a strong knowledge base of the technology among IMF and World Bank staff.”
The Learning Coin project is apparently being used to help the agencies better understand distributed ledgers, smart contracts, and other aspects of crypto technology. According to the Financial Times’ reporting, staff are even rewarded for achieving specific “educational milestones” and are able to “earn” the coins. Project developers are reportedly testing ways that the coins could be redeemed for rewards.
This process will allow the Fund/Bank to better understand how crypto assets could potentially be used in real life. The goal of this project is to promote knowledge — not bias. The app is a prototype that aims to show the good, the bad and the ugly of the technology, without hype or uninformed criticism.