Bitcoin and Crypto Bonds on the Horizon As Central Banks Eye Billions in Private-Sector Investment
Speaking at the 2019 annual Spring Meetings in Washington DC. hosted by the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the governors of the central banks of Afghanistan and Tunisia explained that they are each striving to issue the world’s first sovereign Bitcoin bond.
According to a report by Asia Times,
“Khalil Sediq, Governor at the Central Bank of Afghanistan, told Asia Times at the event that the country was seriously considering issuing a sovereign crypto bond that uses blockchain technology as an instrument to raise some US$5.8 billion in needed private-sector investment for the country’s critical mining, energy and agriculture sectors.”
Sediq outlined how Bitcoin could allow the government to reach international markets and overcome severe restrictions on borrowing. To create a new financial instrument, the central bank is exploring Hyperledger’s blockchain technology financial services platform. An open source, global collaborative effort for cross-industry blockchain technologies, Hyperledger could underpin new infrastructure that would enable Aghanistan to execute an enterprise-level platform.
As one of the world’s largest producers of lithium, Afghanistan has mineral reserves now valued at over $3 trillion. A Bitcoin bond could be tied to metals futures, such as lithium. If executed, the financial instrument would be the first of its kind.
Tunisian central bank governor Marouane El Abassi announced at the summit that a special division at the bank is exploring the advantages and disadvantages of a Bitcoin bond. According to the report,
“Abassi added that Bitcoin and blockchain Hyperledger technology offers central banks an efficient tool to combat money-laundering, manage remittances, fight cross-border terrorism and limit grey economies.”
Uzbekistan, the world’s fifth-largest producer of cotton, is also reportedly exploring blockchain, cryptocurrencies and the issuance of a Bitcoin bond that could be tied to the cotton futures market.
“Uzbekistan, which sent a high-level delegation to the IMF World Bank event so it could study Bitcoin and blockchain, should not be counted out in the race to issue the first sovereign Bitcoin bond, Uzbek Ambassador to the United States Javlon Vakhabov told meeting delegates.”
Speaking at the spring meeting last Wednesday, IMF chief Christine Lagarde pointedly noted that cryptocurrencies are “clearly shaking the system.”