Cryptoassets risks and BIS

Cryptoassets Amplify Financial Risks, BIS Report Warns

In a recent paper released by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the touted potential of cryptoassets as the harbinger of financial innovation has been cast into doubt, as these digital assets have not lived up to their promised potential and have instead exacerbated financial risks, particularly in underdeveloped economies. The BIS paper, characterized by its emphasis on meticulous analysis, brings attention to the “illusory appeal of being a simple and quick solution for financial challenges” attributed to cryptoassets, especially in untamed markets.


The BIS report systematically examines the ramifications that could arise from the amalgamation of crypto and traditional financial markets, offering insights into the financial stability risks inherently embedded in cryptoassets. The multifaceted nature of the issue stems from various sources, including the intrinsic nature, composition, structure, and intended purpose of these rapidly evolving markets.


To effectively monitor the dynamic cryptoasset markets, the BIS report strongly advocates for cooperative efforts among national banking regulators to delineate the requisite data parameters. These efforts, however, carry the risk of compromising the privacy that has been one of the hallmarks of cryptoassets’ allure.


The paper puts forth three recommended approaches for supervising and regulating cryptoasset markets, namely bans, containment, and regulation. While a comprehensive ban might seem appealing to some, the report cautions that due to the elusive offshore and anonymous nature of cryptoasset markets, enforcing such a ban might prove impractical. This could subsequently hinder authorities from accurately gauging market movements, exacerbating their invisibility and instability, while simultaneously curbing any prospects of positive market innovations.


The containment approach, though offering potential benefits, confronts similar challenges. Effectively controlling the flow of funds into the cryptoasset arena might be easier said than done, considering the decentralized and autonomous nature of these digital assets.


The regulatory strategy, on the other hand, necessitates an unprecedented level of international cooperation, as it grapples with the conundrum of harmonizing disclosure requirements and privacy concerns across multiple jurisdictions. Notably, the European Union’s financial services chief proposes that the EU’s cryptoasset regulations could serve as a global blueprint, safeguarding both consumers and overall financial stability.


A pivotal BIS survey, published in June, underscores that a myriad of central banks worldwide, spanning both developed and underdeveloped nations, are poised to introduce digital currencies over the next decade. Although cryptoassets initially set out to revolutionize the financial landscape, their current shortcomings and the challenges in achieving comprehensive oversight are becoming increasingly apparent.


In the absence of synchronized preparation and collaboration among regulatory bodies on a global scale, the future of the financial market could be ensnared in heightened risks. The BIS paper serves as an authoritative reminder that, unless cryptoasset markets are effectively supervised and brought under comprehensive regulatory frameworks, the much-anticipated transformation of the financial sector might remain an unattainable goal.


Source: Reuters

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