Letter: Cryptos Play a Useful Social Role, Especially in Emerging Markets

ECB’s Fabio Panetta is right that unsecured crypto assets will not go away and should be regulated to protect investors and society like any other financial asset (Market overview, January 5). But his comment that cryptos serve no socially or economically useful function – they are rarely used for payments and do not finance consumption or investment – ​​is incorrect.

Especially in emerging markets where a large percentage of the population is unbanked, crypto wallets facilitate transactions via mobile phones both within and between countries.

Often there is little confidence in the local currency due to inappropriate monetary policy.

Previously, transactions were generally made in US dollars. But what happens when the supply of US dollars dries up like in Egypt last month? Cryptos offer an alternative. Just think of the Ukrainians who fled to the EU with crypto wallets rather than hryvnia. Certainly, they found their cryptos socially useful as they were able to sell them to house and feed their families.

Nigel Williams
President, Royalton Partners
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg

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