Cryptocurrency enthusiasts in the United States have had their fingers crossed regarding the future of cryptocurrency regulations in the nation under President Joe Biden’s administration. While many were hoping that the officials elected by the new president would be open-minded towards cryptocurrencies, Janet Yellen, Biden’s nominee for the Treasury Department has criticized cryptocurrencies and linked them to terrorist financing and money laundering.
Speaking at her virtual confirmation hearing before the U.S. Senate, Yellen, who is a known crypto critic, raised concerns regarding virtual currencies and their connection to illicit activities like money laundering and terrorist financing. Maintaining her anti-crypto stance, Yellen said:
“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 asserted that if she comes into power as the leader of the Treasury Department, her approach towards digital assets would be focused around 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.”
Yellen is a known crypto critic and has previously described Bitcoin as “anything but useful” while countering claims of BTC being a store of value.
Yellen’s statements aren’t accurate?
As previously reported by The Daily Chain, multiple instances of cryptocurrencies being used as a means to finance terrorist activities have surfaced over the past years. However, in contrast to that, these events do not justify the claim that cryptocurrencies are the preferred mode for terrorists and bad actors.
According to the 2020 crypto crime report from blockchain intelligence firm Chainalysis, criminal transactions in the cryptocurrency space fell to 0.34% in 2020, a major drop from 2.1% reported in the previous year’s report.
Responding to Yellen’s comments about cryptocurrencies, Morgan Creek digital co-founder Anthony Pompliano tweeted:
“Janet Yellen stated today that cryptocurrencies are concerning because of terrorist financing and money laundering. She forgot to mention that the US dollar is the choice currency of criminals around the world. The large banks launder more money than [the] entire Bitcoin market cap.”
Meanwhile, Biden’s decision to appoint former CFTC Chief Gary Gensler is also being considered a tough case for blockchain payments company Ripple, as he’d be heading the SEC’s legal battle with blockchain payments firm. Gensler has previously noted that XRP has a “strong case” of being classified as a security.