Crypto, Corruption, and Capital Controls: Cross-Country Correlations


Marwa Alnasaa ; Nikolay Gueorguiev ; Jiro Honda ; Eslem Imamoglu ; Paolo Mauro ; Keyra Primus ; Dmitriy L Rozhkov

Publication Date:

March 25, 2022

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Disclaimer: IMF Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate. The views expressed in IMF Working Papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management.


Empirical investigation of the factors underlying the growing usage of crypto-assets is in its infancy, owing to data limitations. In this paper, we present a simple cross-country analysis drawing on recently released survey-based data. We explore the correlation of crypto-asset usage with indicators of corruption, capital controls, a history of high inflation, and other factors. We find that crypto-asset usage is significantly and positively associated with higher perception of corruption and more intensive capital controls. Notwithstanding the data limitations, the results support the case for regulating crypto-assets, including know-your-customer approaches, as opposed to taking a laissez-faire stance.


Working Paper No. 2022/060




Publication Date:

March 25, 2022



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