IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Regulation of Cryptocurrencies: Evidence from Asia and the Pacific


  • Jose Antonio Pedrosa-Garcia

    () (United Nations ESCAP)

  • Yasmin Winther De Araujo Consolino Almeida

    () (Macroeconomic Policy and Financing for Development Division, ESCAP)


This paper reviews the key features of cryptocurrencies and their underlying technology, blockchain. It becomes clear that cryptocurrencies do not fulfill the three functions of money, at least for the moment, but should instead be understood as high-risk, high-profitability securities. While there are great opportunities such as increased remittances, their potential disruption of economic activity, and particularly of monetary policy is mind-blowing. Under this premise, and keeping in mind hackers’ heists suffered by cryptocurrency exchanges, it is important to regulate cryptocurrencies. Four core questions countries should decide on are: whether they consider cryptocurrencies’ legal tender, whether they allow cryptocurrency exchanges to operate (and if so, how); whether Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) should be allowed (and if so, how); and whether they allow mining. Several policy options are presented, both from a theoretical perspective, and as they have been implemented by countries in Asia-Pacific. While countries such as China have decided to be restrictive, others such as Japan have chosen to regulate to let the sector thrive. Such diversity may be understandable, given that is such a novel technology that still poorly understood – especially its evolution. This diversity of standards offers great room for regulatory arbitrage, and highlights a great need for global coordination on cryptocurrency regulation and supervision.

Suggested Citation

  • Jose Antonio Pedrosa-Garcia & Yasmin Winther De Araujo Consolino Almeida, 2018. "Regulation of Cryptocurrencies: Evidence from Asia and the Pacific," MPDD Working Paper Series WP/18/03, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
  • Handle: RePEc:unt:wpmpdd:wp/18/03

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lei, Jin & Qiu, Jiaping & Wan, Chi, 2018. "Asset tangibility, cash holdings, and financial development," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 223-242.
    2. Frunza, Marius-Cristian, 2015. "Solving Modern Crime in Financial Markets," Elsevier Monographs, Elsevier, edition 1, number 9780128044940.
    3. William Jack & Tavneet Suri, 2011. "Mobile Money: The Economics of M-PESA," NBER Working Papers 16721, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Yong Ma & Ke Song, 2018. "Financial Development And Macroeconomic Volatility," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(3), pages 205-225, July.
    5. Ardic, Oya Pinar & Heimann, Maximilien & Mylenko, Nataliya, 2011. "Access to financial services and the financial inclusion agenda around the world : a cross-country analysis with a new data set," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5537, The World Bank.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Ghosh, Saibal, 2016. "Does mobile telephony spur growth? Evidence from Indian states," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(10), pages 1020-1031.
    2. Pascaline Dupas & Sarah Green & Anthony Keats & Jonathan Robinson, 2014. "Challenges in Banking the Rural Poor: Evidence from Kenya's Western Province," NBER Chapters, in: African Successes, Volume III: Modernization and Development, pages 63-101, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Yang, Bao & Chou, Hsin-I. & Zhao, Jing, 2020. "Innovation or dividend payout: Evidence from China," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 180-203.
    4. Chen, Haosi & Maslar, David A. & Serfling, Matthew, 2020. "Asset redeployability and the choice between bank debt and public debt," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 64(C).
    5. Asif Islam & Silvia Muzi & Jorge Luis Rodriguez Meza, 2018. "Does mobile money use increase firms’ investment? Evidence from Enterprise Surveys in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 51(3), pages 687-708, October.
    6. Moreno, Elena & Venegas-Martínez, Francisco & Baraya, Aristides R. (ed.), 2019. "Tópicos Selectos sobre Inclusión y Educación Financiera en el Contexto Mexicano," Sección de Estudios de Posgrado e Investigación de la Escuela Superios de Economía del Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Escuela Superior de Economía, Instituto Politécnico Nacional, edition 1, volume 1, number 024, December.
    7. Hernández-Mejía, Sergio & Manrique-Morteo, Georgina & Venegas-Martínez, Francisco, 2019. "Financial literacy and its relationship with the personal financial decisions: an analysis of gender differences," Sección de Estudios de Posgrado e Investigación de la Escuela Superios de Economía del Instituto Politécnico Nacional, in: Moreno-García, Elena & Venegas-Martínez, Francisco & Baraya, Aristides R. (ed.), Tópicos Selectos sobre Inclusión y Educación Finnaciera en el Contexto Mexicano, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 257-287, Escuela Superior de Economía, Instituto Politécnico Nacional.
    8. Watkins, T. & Arroyo, P. & Perry, R. & Wang, R. & Arriaga, O. & Fleming, M. & O'Day, C. & Stone, I. & Sekerak, J. & Mast, D. & Hayes, N. & Keller, P. & Schwartz, P., 2017. "Insulated Solar Electric Cooking – Tomorrow's healthy affordable stoves?," Development Engineering, Elsevier, vol. 2(C), pages 47-52.
    9. Maëlle Della Peruta, 2015. "Mobile Money Adoption and Financial Inclusion Objectives: A Macroeconomic Approach through a Cluster Analysis," GREDEG Working Papers 2015-49, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), Université Côte d'Azur, France.
    10. Florence Arestoff & Baptiste Venet, 2013. "Learning to walk before you run: Financial Behavior and mobile banking in Madagascar," Working Papers DT/2013/09, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    11. B. Fernández-Olit & C. Ruza & M. Cuesta-González & M. Matilla-Garcia, 2019. "Banks and Financial Discrimination: What Can Be Learnt from the Spanish Experience?," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 42(2), pages 303-323, June.
    12. Thompson, William W. & Janzen, Sarah A. & Magnan, Nicholas P. & Sharma, Sudhindra, 2015. "Social Drivers of Aspirations Formation and Failure in Rural Nepal," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 205757, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    13. Moreno G., Elena & Venegas-Martínez, Francisco & Baraya, Aristides R. (ed.), 2019. "Tópicos Selectos sobre Inclusión y Educación Financiera en el Contexto Mexicano," Sección de Estudios de Posgrado e Investigación de la Escuela Superios de Economía del Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Escuela Superior de Economía, Instituto Politécnico Nacional, edition 1, volume 1, number 023, December.
    14. Catia Batista & Pedro C. Vicente, 2018. "Is mobile money changing rural Africa? Evidence from a field experiment," NOVAFRICA Working Paper Series wp1805, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia, NOVAFRICA.
    15. Gaganis, Chrysovalantis & Galariotis, Emilios & Pasiouras, Fotios & Staikouras, Christos, 2020. "Bank profit efficiency and financial consumer protection policies," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 98-116.
    16. Asli Demirguc-Kunt & Leora Klapper, 2013. "Measuring Financial Inclusion: Explaining Variation in Use of Financial Services across and within Countries," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 46(1 (Spring), pages 279-340.
    17. Olaniyi Evans, 2016. "The Effectiveness of Monetary Policy in Africa: Modeling the Impact of Financial Inclusion," Iranian Economic Review (IER), Faculty of Economics,University of Tehran.Tehran,Iran, vol. 20(3), pages 327-337, Summer.
    18. Assunção, Juliano, 2013. "Eliminating entry barriers for the provision of banking services: Evidence from ‘banking correspondents’ in Brazil," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 2806-2811.
    19. Buehren, Niklas, 2011. "Allocating Cash Savings and the Role of Information: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Uganda," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 16, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
    20. Lee, Kenneth & Brewer, Eric & Christiano, Carson & Meyo, Francis & Miguel, Edward & Podolsky, Matthew & Rosa, Javier & Wolfram, Catherine, 2016. "Electrification for “Under Grid” households in Rural Kenya," Development Engineering, Elsevier, vol. 1(C), pages 26-35.

    More about this item


    Cryptocurrencies; Blockchain; Bitcoin; Regulation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E51 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Money Supply; Credit; Money Multipliers
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • K24 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Cyber Law
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:unt:wpmpdd:wp/18/03. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Macroeconomic Policy and Development Division, ESCAP). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.