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IMF leader on digital payments for skilled trades workers

The IMF’s managing director lays out four pillars for the future of digital money as it relates to artisans.

The continuing transition to digital finance is likely to affect sectors across the board. Artisans, or skilled craftsmen and women, are no exception. According to Kristalina Georgieva, managing director for the International Monetary Fund, or IMF, digital money for these skilled workers hinges on a tetrad of factors.

“The artisan’s digital future will rest on four cornerstones: private sector innovation, public sector involvement, regulatory and legal frameworks, and international cooperation,” Georgieva said on Friday during a BlockShow conference segment.

How do online payments and finance affect skilled workers though? Digital transactions and capabilities hold the potential to speed up the flow of money. If a tradesperson suffers a job loss, authorities can transfer unemployment funds more efficiently, as noted by Georgieva in a hypothetical example. Digital finance also enables access to other payments and loans for such workers, even across borders. “You no longer have to be big to be global,” she posited.

The private sector has been particularly crucial during the development of the crypto industry. As countries race toward their own central bank digital currencies, or CBDCs, the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s head, Brain Brooks, recently shed light on the private sector and its vast development of stablecoins and their success.

“Private sector innovation has served many people well,” Georgieva said. “The private sector is best able to gauge the needs of people and businesses, provide the diversity of products and services they want, and take the risks necessary for innovation,” she added, noting the importance of users’ safety.

The IMF managing director looks toward the public sector “to provide verifiable digital ID, communications infrastructure, central bank money, and other necessities.” During an event back in October, Bill Foster, a U.S. Representative, mentioned blockchain’s potential role in verifiable digital identification — a talking point in the crypto space for years.

Georgieva referenced the CBDC movement, questioning “Will a digital version of notes and coins be introduced? Many countries are considering just that possibility,” she said, adding:

“While the form of central bank money may change, its function should not. It should still anchor the stability of other forms of money, while enabling their evolution and diversity.”

Georgieva also elaborated on the importance of regulatory frameworks and international cooperation. The crypto industry continues to see the impact of regulation (or lack thereof in some cases) first hand, as legal gray areas fade.

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