U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has reaffirmed that it is important to ensure that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are not used for illicit financing. In addition, she stresses the importance of regulating institutions that deal with bitcoin.
Janet Yellen Claims It’s Important to Make Sure Bitcoin Is Not Used for Illicit Financing
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen answered some questions regarding bitcoin and cryptocurrency regulation in an interview with CNBC Thursday.
Yellen said she considers bitcoin a “highly speculative asset,” emphasizing its high levels of volatility in recent years. Responding to a question about whether bitcoin and cryptocurrencies need to be regulated, the treasury secretary said:
I think it’s important to make sure that it is not used as a vehicle for illicit transactions and that there’s investor protection. And so regulating institutions that deal in bitcoin, making sure that they adhere to their regulatory responsibilities, I think is certainly important.
This is not the first time Yellen has talked about cryptocurrencies fuelling illicit transactions. At her Senate confirmation hearing in January, she said: “Cryptocurrencies are a particular concern. I think many are used … mainly for illicit financing.” She subsequently clarified her position and promised to work with other federal regulators to implement “effective” crypto regulation. Then last week, she said the misuse of cryptocurrencies “is a growing problem,” reiterating that they “have been used to launder the profits of online drug traffickers” and have “been a tool to finance terrorism.”
Commenting on Yellen’s remarks about bitcoin on Thursday, Rich Dad Poor Dad author Robert Kiyosaki wrote:
Sec Treasury Yellen just said on CNBC bitcoin is used in criminal activity. Give me a break. And the US dollar isn’t. Who can believe these Academic Elites? Do they think we are that naive? Definitely buy more gold, silver, bitcoin.
A growing number of large corporations have embraced bitcoin. The cryptocurrency recently got a massive boost when Elon Musk’s electric car company, Tesla, revealed that it had purchased $1.5 billion of BTC and will soon accept the cryptocurrency as a means of payment for its products. Mastercard also announced that it will allow certain cryptocurrencies on its network, and the nation’s oldest bank, BNY Mellon, unveiled a crypto unit to provide bitcoin services. In addition, the U.S. city of Miami is trying to become a bitcoin hub.
Meanwhile, the pro-bitcoin U.S. Senator from Wyoming, Cynthia Lummis, is on a mission to convincing Yellen that bitcoin is a great store of value. Lummis said she met with Yellen and believes that she has an open mind on this subject. However, the senator still believes that it will take some time to convince the treasury secretary.
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