Crypto’s use for humanitarian aid limited, US official says


A sign illustrating the transfer of dollars, yen and pounds to bitcoin in the window of at a Bitcoin Change bureau. Rosenberg said there are some instances where digital assets can help, but there are limitations that prevent it from having far-reaching effects. — Bloomberg

There are limits to how much digital assets can be used to provide humanitarian relief to countries in crisis, a US Treasury official said on April 22.

“I personally remain sceptical that digital assets will radically change the way the overall global financial system operates or transfers funds in a crisis – at least as they stand today,” said Elizabeth Rosenberg, assistant secretary for terrorist financing and financial crimes at the Treasury Department.

ALSO READ: Explainer: How cryptocurrencies work (and how they don’t)

“We should be realistic about the limits of digital assets and their utility for humanitarian efforts,” she said at an event in Washington held by the Institute of International Finance.

Rosenberg’s comments came after executives from companies at the event including Circle Internet Financial Limited, Coinbase Global Inc, and Ribbit Capital touted examples where digital assets have been a source of humanitarian aid. Ukraine, for instance, has raised more than US$100mil (RM432.50mil) in crypto donations that it’s put toward military equipment and other supplies as it tries to fend off Russia’s invasion.

ALSO READ: Is the allure of cryptocurrency fading?

Roya Mahboob, an Afghan entrepreneur who is the co-founder and chief executive officer of the Digital Citizen Fund, said cryptocurrency “has provided a small but critical financial lifeline” for Afghan citizens as the country’s banking system nears collapse.

Rosenberg said there are some instances where digital assets can help, but there are limitations that prevent it from having far-reaching effects. Less developed nations like Afghanistan lack certain infrastructure, including reliable Internet connectivity and access to an economic system capable of processing cryptocurrency into necessary goods and services, she said.

“It’s hard to envision widespread use of digital assets to meet humanitarian needs,” she said. – Bloomberg

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Humanitarian aid

   

Next In Tech News

How data from period-tracking and pregnancy apps could be used to prosecute pregnant people in the US
Expert: Ransom paid after cyberattack on US schools likely necessary
Crypto during a recession: Here’s what to expect
Elon Musk’s ‘joke’ ManU tweet unlikely to land him regulator’s red card, say legal experts
ECB steps in as banks dip toes in crypto pool
Crypto broker Genesis taps insider as interim chief, cuts jobs by 20%
Exclusive-World Bank's IFC taps blockchain for carbon offsets
Donald Trump’s angry words online spur warnings of real violence
TikTok to clamp down on paid political posts by influencers ahead of U.S. midterms
WhatsApp rolls out new native Windows client, with Mac version in the works

Others Also Read