4 December 2023

Global standard-setting bodies and the AFI network discuss the potential and risks of digital assets

On 29 & 30 November, at the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) in Basel, AFI and the BIS’s Financial Stability Institute (FSI) co-organized a workshop which explored the implications of the growth in digital assets for financial inclusion. 

150 participants from 78 institutions in 43 jurisdictions discussed how cryptocurrencies, stable coins, central bank digital currencies might accelerate progress on financial inclusion, as well as the risks and challenges confronting standard-setting bodies, central banks and regulators. 

“Financial inclusion is a challenge for us working in financial authorities as well as our governments, for our colleagues in financial inclusion organisations, and for financial institutions, innovators and the private sector at large,” said FSI Chair Fernando Restoy. “Innovative solutions will need to be accompanied by relevant regulations that would enable these solutions while addressing unintended consequences, such as on consumer protection.” 

“Digital assets present both familiar and significant new risks, whether to financial integrity, to consumer and investor protection, or to financial stability,” said AFI Executive Director, Dr Alfred Hannig. “These risks must be thoroughly analysed and mitigated through appropriate policy, regulation, and supervision.” 

This workshop was held as part of enhanced cooperation arrangements between the BIS, the global standard-setting bodies (SSBs), and international financial inclusion organizations. These arrangements aim to provide a venue for discussing global regulatory issues that might have implications for financial inclusion. 

“The impressive attendance is proof of the strong demand for engagement and dialogue between SSBs, central banks and regulators, the private sector, and other stakeholders, on issues of contemporary strategic importance,” said Dr Hannig.

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