Mnuchin Warns Against Bitcoin Becoming the Next 'Swiss Bank Account'




 

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he will work with the Group of 20 nations to prevent cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin from becoming the digital equivalent of an anonymous Swiss bank account.

Speaking to the Economic Club of Washington on Friday, he said wants to ensure "bad people cannot use these currencies to do bad things."

Under U.S. law, "if you have a wallet to own bitcoins, that company has the same obligation as a bank to know" you as a customer, Mnuchin said. "We can track those activities. The rest of the world doesn't have that, so one of the things we will be working very closely with the G-20 is making sure that this doesn't become the Swiss bank account."

Mnuchin said U.S. authorities, including the Federal Reserve, were studying the pros and cons of issuing digital dollars instead of hard cash, but "the Fed and we don't think there's any need for that at this point."

Russian cryptocurrency


Mnuchin also said that he is "not at all" worried that Russia may use cryptocurrencies to help its banks avoid international sanctions. An adviser to President Vladimir Putin is reported to have said that sanctions against Russia have created a need for digital currencies as officials there fear expansions in 2018.

Virtual currencies such as bitcoin, which has soared in price in recent months amid a rush by investors to buy the instrument, could help bypass any such U.S. measures because they allow users to remain anonymous.

See here: Russia's Oligarchs Brace for U.S. List of Putin Friends

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree last month allowing the government to classify purchases by the Defense Ministry, Federal Security Service and Foreign Intelligence Service as state secrets.

"This idea that Russia or Venezuela can thwart the pressure from sanctions just by developing their own cryptocurrency is silly," said lawyer Erich Ferrari of Ferrari & Associates in Washington. "It's like trying to do it by using cash. Yes you can do it more easily with cash, but it doesn't mean you're evading. It's harder to get caught."

Updates with Mnuchin's comments on sanctions from fifth paragraph.

Read Mnuchin Warns Against Bitcoin Becoming the Next 'Swiss Bank Account' on bloombergpolitics.com

COMMENTS

More Related News

Treasury Secretary: Trump not threatening Fed
Treasury Secretary: Trump not threatening Fed's independence

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Saturday that Donald Trump was not trying to put pressure on the Federal Reserve when he criticized its decision to raise interest rates.

White House: Russia call for Ukraine referendum illegitimate
White House: Russia call for Ukraine referendum illegitimate

WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House said Friday it "is not considering supporting" a Vladimir-Putin-backed call for a referendum in eastern Ukraine in the aftermath of President Donald Trump's meeting with the Russian president.

Russia says Putin, Trump discussed referendum in Ukraine
Russia says Putin, Trump discussed referendum in Ukraine

MOSCOW (AP) - President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump discussed a possible referendum in separatist-leaning eastern Ukraine during their Helsinki summit earlier this week, Russia's ambassador to the U.S. said Friday.

Microsoft detected Russian phishing attacks on three 2018 campaigns
Microsoft detected Russian phishing attacks on three 2018 campaigns

Russia is still launching cyberattacks against the US, a Microsoft exec has

Trump
Trump 'disagrees' with Putin offer to interview Americans

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump "disagrees" with Russian President Vladimir Putin's offer to allow the U.S. to question 12 Russians accused of interfering in the 2016 election in exchange for permitting Russia to interview Americans the Kremlin accuses of unspecified crimes, the

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Economy

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.