Following on from Donald Trump’s tweet at the end of last week, where he said he wasn’t a fan of Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, the United States Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin held a briefing on regulating the leading cryptocurrency as well as Facebook’s upcoming Libra stablecoin. In the briefing, the US secretary spoke on the use of crypto in illicit activities and the threat that they pose to the whole financial system.
Mnuchin started the meeting off by talking about the leading cryptocurrency and how it is often used by criminals for fraudulent means which looks into finding a way around the obstacle that is the US authorities.
“I will focus primarily on the serious concerns the Treasury has of the growing misuse of cryptocurrency by money launderers, terrorist financiers, and other bad players.
Cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin have been exploited to support billions of dollars of illicit activity like cybercrime, tax evasion, extortion, ransomware, illicit drugs, human trafficking. Many players have used cryptocurrency to support their maligned behavior—this is indeed a national security issue.”
This comparison isn’t surprising though. If we take a look at the infamous Silk Road, this was part of the reason for accelerating the adopting of Bitcoin while it was still garnering some kind of fame but with crypto being associated with such illegal activity, a lot of people think that Bitcoin itself is ‘illegal’ to a sense.
Mnunchin made clear that “If you think you’re going to use Bitcoin to go on the dark web… you’re gonna get caught.”
So with this, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the focus of the treasury is on criminal uses and how businesses which transact or deal in cryptocurrency must obey to the proper rules and regulations.
The secretary went onto talk about Facebook’s Libra coin, to which he said:
“The United States has been at the forefront of regulating entities that provide cryptocurrencies. We will not allow digital asset service providers to operate in the shadows and will not tolerate the use of the cryptocurrencies in support of illicit activities.”
He went onto add:
“We know we need to take the time to get this right. And I want to be clear: Facebook will not offer the Libra digital currency until we have fully addressed regulatory concerns and received appropriate approvals.”