The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently released a research report saying that cryptocurrency assets “may be used to transfer corrupt proceeds or circumvent capital controls”, and in countries with developed traditional financial industries, residents may feel less need for cryptocurrencies.
The IMF also said it extracted baseline data on cryptocurrency usage from information collected by German firm Statista. The survey covered 55 countries, each with 2,000 to 12,000 respondents. Respondents were asked if they own or use digital assets in 2020. The report also found reasons why cryptocurrencies are more popular in certain countries.
First, high inflation could mean that popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are more stable than local currencies. Second, since poorer countries also tend to have stricter capital controls to prevent foreign inflows and domestic outflows, cryptocurrencies may also be a way to circumvent taxes and restrictions.
However, the IMF warned that while its findings are noteworthy, they should be interpreted with caution given the small sample size and data quality cannot be guaranteed to be accurate.