The International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned of "systemic" risks to the financial stability of the growing cryptocurrency industry and called for "comprehensive, consistent and coordinated" global regulation of the sector.
The IMF released a document on "comprehensive international standards" for dealing with the risks that cryptocurrencies pose to the financial system.
According to the IMF's position, cryptocurrency exchanges must be licensed or authorized, while a distinction must be made between investment services and products and those intended for payments, the former being supervised by the securities regulator and the latter supervised by the "central bank or payment supervisory authority."
Finally, financial institutions with exposure to cryptos must adhere to "clear requirements" including exposure limits, investor suitability and risk assessments.
The IMF also highlighted risks, including the "cryptoization" of emerging markets and developing economies, where cryptocurrencies "replace the national currency and circumvent exchange restrictions and capital management measures."
Regulators around the world increased their focus on cryptocurrency in the past year. Recently, the Fed, FDIC and OCC released a joint statement setting out an ambitious cryptographic agenda, addressing issues such as the issuance of stable currency by banks. Now, the IMF is also paying a lot of attention to this financial technology, as cryptocurrencies have become too big to ignore.