All that glitters is not gold: The high cost of leaving cryptocurrencies unregulated

The Conference on Trade and Development highlights the risks and costs associated with unregulated cryptocurrencies in developing countries, emphasizing the need for financial regulation, restrictions on crypto-related ads, and the implementation of safe and affordable digital payment systems to address these challenges.

The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) published a policy brief on the high cost of leaving digital currency unregulated in developing countries. The report explores the risks and costs, reasons for the uptake of cryptocurrencies in developing countries, and the current regulatory landscape amid the improved usage of cryptocurrencies during the COVID-19 crisis. In this vein, the UNCTAD pinpoints three policy recommendations for developing countries to consider 1) ensuring financial regulation; 2) restricting advertisements related to cryptocurrencies; and 3) providing a safe, reliable, and affordable public payment system adapted to the digital era, such as a central bank digital currency or fast retail payment system.