The recent G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which took place over March 19-20, 2018, has come to a close. Representatives from around the globe addressed such topics as challenges to the cautiously improving global economy, creating sustainable growth, and fostering innovative economic policy while still exercising prudent restraint with regard to nations still reeling from crisis.
One recurring theme addressed by attendees was blockchain and cryptocurrency. It was determined that cryptocurrency should be classified as an asset, not a currency or security, and it was questioned how much of a risk the new technology poses to the global economic system. Additionally, some policymakers showed avid support for blockchain technology, in the period surrounding the transnational quorum.
Upon the event's closure this afternoon, the communiqué of the First Meeting of Finance Ministers and Presidents of Central Banks of the G20 was made available to press and the public. Included was a statement on crypto-assets and digital finance:
"We acknowledge that technological innovation, including that underlying crypto-assets, has the potential to improve the efficiency and inclusiveness of the financial system and the economy more broadly. Crypto-assets do, however, raise issues with respect to consumer and investor protection, market integrity, tax evasion, money laundering and terrorist financing. Crypto-assets lack the key attributes of sovereign currencies. At some point they could have financial stability implications. We commit to implement the FATF standards as they apply to crypto-assets, look forward to the FATF review of those standards, and call on the FATF to advance global implementation. We call on international standard-setting bodies (SSBs) to continue their monitoring of crypto-assets and their risks, according to their mandates, and assess multilateral responses as needed."
In pointing out issues of consumer protection, market stability, illegal activities, and the importance of standards to further development, the G20 highlights areas of intensified focus as a bellwether for future development.