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IMF's Lagarde: Time to get serious about digital currency, we will see massive disruptions





It's time for the world's central banks and regulators to get serious about digital currencies, according to the head of the International Monetary Fund.

Global financial institutions are taking risks by not watching and understanding emerging financial tech products that are already starting to shake up the financial services and global payments system, according to IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde.

"I think that we are about to see massive disruptions," Lagarde told CNBC in a Facebook Live interview on the sidelines of the IMF Annual Meetings in Washington D.C.

Fintech, Lagarde said, is already causing disruptions in the financial services industry as new technologies lower the cost of financial transactions. She pointed to distributed ledger technology like blockchain that can help make the banking system more inclusive.

"I think of women in some of the developing countries that have to carry cash around who are at risk of violence and all the rest of it," she said. "If they can use their cell phone and operate in a much more discreet and efficient way, it would be terrific."

Lagarde didn't rule out that the IMF could at some point develop its own cryptocurrency

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