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

Putin Hails Sunset of U.S. Global Domination Due To Mounting 'Mistakes'
Putin Hails Sunset of U.S. Global Domination Due To Mounting 'Mistakes'

Russian President Vladimir Putin gloated Thursday about what he sees as the

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Says He Won't Attend Saudi Arabia Summit
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Says He Won't Attend Saudi Arabia Summit

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday that he would no longer attend

Rod Rosenstein Offers 'Forceful Defense' Of 'Appropriate' Russia Probe: WSJ
Rod Rosenstein Offers 'Forceful Defense' Of 'Appropriate' Russia Probe: WSJ

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has offered what The Wall Street

Gun attack by student at Crimea college leaves 19 dead
Gun attack by student at Crimea college leaves 19 dead

Nineteen people were killed and dozens more wounded, most of them teenagers, after a student opened fire in a technical college in Russian-annexed Crimea on Wednesday, the authorities said. Russia's Investigative Committee said the attack was carried out by 18-year-old student Vladislav Roslyakov. Roslyakov enrolled at the college in 2015, according to its website.

The Latest: Russian investigators identify Crimea gunman
The Latest: Russian investigators identify Crimea gunman

MOSCOW (AP) - The Latest on the deadly explosion at a college in Crimea (all times local):

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.