The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank have launched a crypto token called “Learning Coin” to better understand how blockchain technology works.
The two institutions said that the coin would have no monetary value and would not be made openly available, the Financial Times reported Saturday. To support the token, the IMF and the World Bank have also launched a private blockchain network.
The project is aimed to build “a strong knowledge base” around blockchain technology among staff at the organizations.
The IMF said in the report:
“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.”
Also launched as part of the token project is a Learning Coin app, allowing users to share content like blogs, research, videos and presentations. Staff at the organizations will also be able to “earn” coins for achieving certain educational milestones.
While the token has no real-world value, the developers are reportedly testing how staff can redeem it for rewards.
The news comes five months after IMF chief Christine Lagarde encouraged the exploration of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) in the light of decreasing demand for cash and rising preference for digital money. And, in 2017, the then-president of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, said that the technology is “something everyone is excited about,” while he was more cautious about cryptocurrencies.
Last summer, the World Bank moved to use blockchain for a bond settlement that raised $81 million. The bond’s investors included CommBank, QBE Insurance, NSW Treasury Corporation and Northern Trust, among others.