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The International Monetary Fund has held a meeting of the High Level Advisory Group on FinTech, mostly dedicated to pros and cons of blockchain implementation.

The event was attended by 14 blockchain industry leaders and experts. Those included Tao Zhang, deputy managing director of the IMF and former deputy governor of the People's Bank of China, Jeremy Allaire, CEO of Circle, Ryan Zagone, director of regulatory relations at Ripple, Jill Carlson, head of market strategy at Chain, Carolyn Wilkins, senior deputy governor at the Bank of Canada, Chris Church, chief business development officer at Digital Asset, Long Chen, chief strategy officer of Alibaba's Ant Financial Services, and Robert Garrison, CIO at DTCC's, among others.

The first part of the meeting was private, whereas the following panel was broadcasted via live streaming and Twitter. According to Alex Tapscott, the author of Blockchain Revolution, speaking to CoinDesk, 80% of the discussion was focused on blockchain, while 15% dealt with machine learning and 5% with other fintech innovations.

The advisory group aims to study the economic and regulatory consequences of blockchain application in the financial sector.

According to Peace M. Uwase, BNR director general for financial stability, who also attended the panel, innovative technologies might improve financial inclusion thereby strengthening financial stability, yet being disruptive for the current financial system.

Jill Carlson from Chain told CoinDesk that the discussion was focused on the regulatory framework on behalf of the IMF, central banks and international financial intuitions, as well as on the risks posed by the technology.

In January 2017, the IMF published a report on virtual currencies and the blockchain technology. The document was presented by Christine Lagarde, IMF Managing Director, at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

“Virtual currencies and their underlying technologies can provide faster and cheaper financial services, and can become a powerful tool for deepening financial inclusion in the developing world. The challenge will be how to reap all these benefits and at the same time prevent illegal uses,” the 42-page report says.

Elena Platonova