Posted 5 months ago | by @devadmin
While speaking at a virtual confirmation hearing before the U.S. Senate, Joe Biden’s Treasury Secretary pick Janet Yellen, who is a well-known crypto critic, stated virtual currencies are used for illicit activities like money laundering and terrorist financing.
“I think many [cryptocurrencies] are used, at least in transactions sense, mainly for illicit financing and I think we really need to examine ways in which we can curtail their use and make sure that money laundering doesn’t occur through those channels.”
She professed that if she comes into power as the leader of the Treasury Department, her focus would be on dealing with Crypto-related terrorism financing. In response to a question by Senator Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) who called crypto use in terrorist financing a “growing concern,” she said:
“The technologies to accomplish this change over time and we need to make sure that our methods for dealing with these matters, with tech terrorist financing, change along with changing technology, cryptocurrencies are a particular concern.”
— Investing.com (@Investingcom) January 19, 2021
However, according to a 2020 crypto crime report from blockchain intelligence firm Chainalysis, criminal transactions in digital currency transactions have fallen to under 1% at just 0.34% last year, a major drop from 2.1% reported in the previous year’s report. Of course, many mainstream media outlets like Business Insider are falsely reporting that cryptocurrencies can’t be traced, without pointing out it depends on whether the blockchain is private or public. A public ledger can easily be traced back to an individual upon sale at a centralized exchange, which requires KYC.
Responding to Yellen’s erroneous comments about cryptocurrencies, Morgan Creek digital co-founder Anthony Pompliano tweeted that she was ignoring the fact that the U.S. dollar is used for more illicit transactions than any other medium of exchange.
It’s worth noting that Yellen, as former Federal Reserve chair during her final press conference, said that Bitcoin was a “highly speculative asset.” This comment may have aided the bubble pop in 2017 just prior to the 2018 bear market. Yellen also criticized Bitcoin as a store of value, stating the following at the time:
“It is not a stable store of value, and it doesn’t constitute legal tender. It is a highly speculative asset, and the Fed doesn’t really play any role, any regulatory role with respect to bitcoin other than assuring that banking organizations that we do supervise are attentive that they’re appropriately managing any interactions they have with participants in that market, and appropriately monitoring anti-money laundering [and] Bank Secrecy Act responsibilities that they have,” Yellen said.
Although, on the flip side, Yellen sees blockchain as an “important technology.” But her criticism of Bitcoin goes all the way back to 2014 when she stated that “The Fed doesn’t have authority to supervise or regulate bitcoin in any way.”
So it will be interesting to see how she handles Bitcoin and cryptocurrency as head of the U.S. Treasury and, more importantly, the stance that the entire Biden administration takes with the appointment of Gary Gensler as U.S. SEC director. Gensler, a former Goldman Sachs executive, has taught cryptocurrency courses at MIT.
More broadly, Yellen’s opinion is in line with several watchdogs around the world, from the European Central Bank to the UK’s financial regulator, who have both recently expressed concern over cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, as Bitboy Crypto reported.
Bitcoin is currently trading at [FIAT: $34,253.77] DOWN -7.8% in the last 24 hours, according to Coingecko at the time of this report.