IMF-FSB Synthesis Paper: Policies for Crypto-Assets

Crypto-assets have been in existence for more than a decade and have displayed significant volatility. Alongside their volatility, crypto-asset activities have also grown in complexity. So far, direct connections between crypto-assets and systemically important financial institutions, core financial markets, and market infrastructures have been limited. Nevertheless, they have the potential to emerge as a source of systemic risk in specific jurisdictions if they gain traction for payments or retail investments. The IMF has outlined key elements of an appropriate policy response including macroeconomic, legal and financial integrity considerations and implications for monetary and fiscal policies. In parallel, the FSB and standard-setting bodies (SSBs) have published regulatory and supervisory recommendations and standards to address financial stability, financial integrity, market integrity, investor protection, prudential and other risks derived from crypto-assets.
At the request of the Indian G20 Presidency, the IMF and the FSB have developed this paper to synthesize the IMF’s and the FSB’s (alongside SSBs’) policy recommendations and standards. The collective recommendations provide comprehensive guidance to help authorities address the macroeconomic and financial stability risks posed by crypto-asset activities and markets, including those associated with stablecoins and those conducted through so-called decentralized finance (DeFi).
The paper describes how the policy and regulatory frameworks developed by the IMF and the FSB (alongside SSBs) fit together and interact with each other, but it does not establish new policies, recommendations or expectations for relevant member authorities.
The paper looks at the key risks to macroeconomic stability, financial stability, and other areas (such as legal, financial integrity and market integrity related risks), posed by crypto-asset activities. It then presents policy responses to these risks in the areas of:
  • macro-financial policies;
  • financial stability regulation; and
  • other policies and regulation.
The paper concludes with an implementation roadmap. The roadmap includes planned and ongoing work related to the implementation of crypto-asset policy frameworks, which taken together seek to: build institutional capacity beyond G20 jurisdictions; enhance global coordination, cooperation, and information sharing; and address data gaps necessary to understand the rapidly changing crypto-asset ecosystem.